Newsletter 18 October 2020

5 min read
Newsletter 18 October 2020
Photo by Oleg Laptev / Unsplash

Dear Neighbours

Well, it's been a little while since our last newsletter. The day-job has been all-consuming - which is great as it means that we're contributing to the economy and helping society function. Every cloud, silver linings. You get my drift.

So yesterday we relaxed in a proper socially-distanced manner at one of our (many) local pub-eateries, The Pig & Butcher, and then poked our nose into the Holy Trinity Church on Cloudesley Square. The diocese of London won National Lottery funding to remedy structural issues with the building, and is now looking to raise £6m more (yikes) to enable the church to be a brilliant community hub. Check it out, poke around! A bit of googling pointed me in the direction of Cloudesley Association, which has loads of good local information (it's a residents group but, to be honest, also good for the Local Tourist). There's so much to explore in this neighbourhood, there's nothing like a good wander round to get the bones moving - and got to find something positive during the Lurgy Lockdown.

So, apart from hacking at an encouraging Wall of Work, what else have we been up to? Inspired by our original fact-finding mission we have researched and published a second, third and fourth FAQ on (1) emergency services, (2) how LTNs affect disabled residents and (3) the constitutional basis for implementing LTNs. Check out the links below, do the NextDoor, twitter, Facebook and other social-media thing, get this awesome stuff out there into the Interweb.

Reminder: LTN = Low Traffic Network. We're well into the jargon.

FAQ: emergency service access
Islington Council is in continual consultation with emergency services chiefs to make sure they are happy with implementation of People Friendly Streets. Evidence shows that response times improve as a result of these schemes.
FAQ: People Friendly Streets work for disabled residents
Drivers often assume that all disabled people drive everywhere, but our survey [/survey-july-2020-results/] shows this to be untrue – they are no more likely to use cars than the rest of us. In our area only half of the people who use mobility scooters also use a car. And 80% of those who use both c…
FAQ: consultation
The Council, the Mayor, the Government Introduction Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) are not a random whim of our Councillors. This administration was elected in 2018 on a manifesto that promised they would promote walking, cycling and the environment, to the extent that funding was available. In 2…

The sharp-eyed among you will notice that our FAQs reference our July 2020 Survey Results. Do you remember that first slip of paper that came through your door? We collated the results (anonymised) and sent the results in to the Islington Gazette. While the results themselves were overwhelmingly in favour of LTNs, we were even more encouraged by the massive number of supportive comments. Here are some tidbits:

In April and May we got a glimpse of the benefits of low traffic during lockdown.
The cars outside are always speeding. Ideally this road should be access only.
Too much traffic. We need aggressive traffic reduction measures. Will be unpopular but it's the right thing to do.

We have continued submitting our thoughts and experiences to G&T (Islington Gazette and Islington Tribune) and Lucy has shared her experience of the stark contrast in the bits of her school run that go through People Friendly Streets and those that don't. No prizes for guessing how this one goes:

School Run is a Story of Two Halves
Our school run is a story of two halves: half of our cycle ride to school is through the calm and safe People Friendly Streets in St Peter’s ward; the other half is a dangerous, stressful journey as we cycle through roads in Barnsbury which are full of traffic and pollution.

If you're still reading, you probably want to learn more or you want to join the campaign. Which is brilliant! There are community groups springing up left right and centre, so we have put together a growing list to help guide you on your way:

Community groups
Our borough is buzzing with support and campaigns for People Friendly Streets, from all kinds of angles and perspectives. Which community group speaks to your needs and passions?

And last but not least... if you are receiving this newsletter, you should have received our Call to Action, which went to you by email just a few days ago. We Called. Did you Action? If not, please please do it! Comment on Commonplace. Email your Councillors. Tell our Council that you want People Friendly Streets in Barnsbury & St Mary's. Tell them how encouraged you are by the positive change, both implemented and planned, in St Peter's, Canonbury East and West, Clerkenwell Green and Amwell. Get your clicking finger out and "like" other positive posts. Make your voice heard! These are OUR STREETS!

As ever, let us know what else you want to hear about, by emailing us on

All our best

Barnsbury & St Mary's Neighbourhood Group

(aka Lucy, Simon, Rachael, Richenda, John, Kevin, Fran, Joseph)