Rebuilding a greener Hackney: have your say on radical transport plans
Local residents and businesses are being urged to have their say on the Council’s radical transport plans to rebuild a greener Hackney post-lockdown.
The plans are aimed at supporting people to walk, cycle and shop locally as lockdown eases and public transport capacity remains low, securing the benefits - like cleaner air, less traffic and higher levels of active travel - that lockdown brought to the capital.
Collectively, the plan will help over 14,000 children walk and cycle to school more safely, and radically reduce through-traffic in neighbourhoods across the borough.
Over 40% of traffic in the borough is through-traffic with little or no economic benefit to the borough. These plans are aimed at reclaiming Hackney’s roads from this traffic, helping people to walk, cycle and shop locally.
All of the measures will be implemented under experimental traffic orders, with residents and businesses able to have their say online at rebuildingagreenerhackney.commonplace.is or in writing before a decision is made on whether or not to make them permanent. The Council is working on further measures across the borough and will share these with residents as they are finalised.
Residents can have their say up until six months after measures have been implemented - with letters sent to all residents in the local area prior to implementation, outlining how they can have their say.
This week, the Council is launching two low traffic neighbourhoods in Hoxton West and the Hackney Downs area, with letters sent to residents in each area in the next week and implementation of each scheme beginning at the end of August.
These will see a type of road closure, known as a traffic filter - where planters or bollards on the road prevent motor vehicles from passing through - introduced at the following locations:
- Micawber Street junction with Shepherdess Walk
- Ebenezer Street and Nile Street junctions with Vestry Street
- Shepherdess Walk south of the junction with Micawber Street (this filter will continue to allow access to local buses, including the 394)
- Junction of Brooke Road and Evering Road
- Reighton Road, northeast of the junction with Brooke Road
- Narford Road, northeast of the junction with Brooke Road
- Maury Road, south of the junction with Evering Road
- Benthal Road, south of the junction with Evering Road
- Downs Road west of the junction with Rendlesham Road, which will restrict all motor vehicles, except for local buses, from passing through
- Powell Road, at its junction with Kenninghall Road
These filters will encourage walking and cycling, promote social distancing and reduce non-local through-traffic on these streets.
Residents or businesses in the area will still be able to drive to their home or business, but this may be via a different route.
Cyclists, emergency vehicles and refuse vehicles will be able to pass through the traffic filters.
While the effect of coronavirus on London has been devastating, one of the few benefits has been a greener city - with cleaner air, less traffic and more of us walking and cycling.
We were already faced with a road safety and air quality crisis in Hackney before the coronavirus pandemic struck, with one of the highest pedestrian and cyclist casualty rates in London and the country’s sixth highest mortality rate from air pollution. If just a fraction of the people who used to take public transport opt for car use instead, these existing crises will be made significantly worse.
We now have a unique opportunity to secure the benefits we saw during lockdown for future generations and rebuild a greener Hackney by reclaiming our neighbourhoods for people, not cars, supporting them to walk, cycle and shop safely.
To do this, we’re launching new low traffic neighbourhoods in Hoxton West and Hackney Downs, as well as School Streets at nearly all Hackney primary schools by September, with more measures to be announced over the coming weeks and months. We want to hear from local people and businesses on these experimental changes so I’d urge people to tell us what they think as they’re implemented.
Given lockdown restrictions remain subject to change, and capacity on public transport remains well below usual levels, it is incredibly important that we support the 70% of Hackney households that do not own a car to walk and cycle instead, and create greener, quieter neighbourhoods for all residents. These plans are aimed at doing just that and will help to rebuild a greener Hackney after the pandemic.
Reallocating road space to cyclists and pedestrians, and implementing the measures under experimental traffic orders is in line with Department for Transport guidance, which states that: ‘The government therefore expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. Such changes will help embed altered behaviours and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel.’
Transport for London have also issued guidance to local authorities in their Streetspace for London plan, which has three main objectives: reallocation of road space, delivery of strategic cycle routes and low traffic neighbourhoods.
Local residents and businesses can view and have their say on the proposals at rebuildingagreenerhackney.commonplace.is.
The Council will also monitor traffic flows in and around each area during implementation.