My son and my partner both suffer from asthma, which is seriously exacerbated if not caused by traffic pollution where we live in Islington, go to school and work. So do many of the other children from my son’s nursery on Tollington Park and his current Haringey school, Stroud Green Primary. Air pollution is a scourge that is damaging adults and children across London and every other major city where there is too much traffic.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, also known as People Friendly Streets, have done much to improve pollution levels in the majority of cases.
It’s true that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods on their own are not a complete solution and that there are people who are adversely impacted by them. This is a reason to carry on with sensible planning to alleviate the adverse impacts. It’s certainly not a reason to roll back the changes and go on like before with the overall higher levels of pollution and suffering, and its impact on people’s lives and its burden on the NHS.
For more information go to LowTrafficIslington.org. I'm looking forward to seeing proposals for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in my Finsbury Park, Islington ward and to making constructive comments to the council where necessary. I’d also love to see reduced traffic on the big roads like Seven Sisters which are beyond the council’s remit.
The COVID-19 lockdowns were in one respect a total eye-opener: traffic on the main roads dwindled away. That it could be like that was amazing. There is too much traffic in London, too many cars chugging out toxic fumes that are damaging our children. We need to do more, to stop fretting about the short term impacts as the traffic adjusts, and to take real, integrated action to prevent any actual disadvantage to people caused by the traffic displacements.