Reimagined Church Street gets go ahead
A funding bid by Hackney Council to close Stoke Newington Church Street to polluting through-traffic during the daytime has been approved by Transport for London.
The move is part of the Council’s plans to rebuild a greener Hackney in the aftermath of the pandemic, improve air quality, and help people to walk, cycle and support local businesses as the borough emerges from coronavirus restrictions.
It also follows engagement with residents in the Stoke Newington area in 2019, with many identifying traffic and air quality as significant issues in the area.
As part of the plans, which are set to be introduced on 20 September, a bus gate will be installed outside the Red Lion pub on Stoke Newington Church Street, which would operate from 7am-7pm, Monday to Sunday, and would permit buses, cyclists, pedestrians and emergency vehicles to pass through. Following engagement with local businesses, the restriction is timed to balance the need to reduce traffic with delivery and servicing requirements of businesses on Church Street.
The bus gate would also be the first in the borough to allow Blue Badge holders with a registered companion badge to drive through at any time, after the Council recently revised its policy following feedback from local residents with disabilities.
A further five 24-hour traffic filters, allowing only pedestrians, cyclists, emergency and waste vehicles through, will also be introduced in the area to prevent traffic from using alternative residential routes as a shortcut.
As with other schemes in the Council’s plans to rebuild a greener Hackney, the reimagined Stoke Newington Church Street will be introduced on a trial basis under an experimental traffic order, with residents able to have their say online or in writing once it is introduced.
Following the introduction of measures around Church Street, which are funded by Transport for London/the Department for Transport, the Council will introduce blended crossings on Bouverie Road and Yoakley Road, which are funded by the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund. The Council is also continuing to develop designs for local pavement widening where this is possible along the road.
Over a number of years we’ve been speaking to people in Stoke Newington about how we can improve Church Street and the surrounding area. During those consultations, people told us that traffic and pollution levels are too high, which is why we’re introducing these plans.
I’m delighted to get the go-ahead from TfL on this scheme, which, as we recover from the pandemic, will support our communities to walk, cycle and shop in their local neighbourhood - helping local businesses in the process - and reduce traffic and pollution on Church Street, Albion Road and the surrounding area.
Since I’ve started this role, I’ve been clear that I’m here to listen - and this scheme has been designed following feedback from residents over the past few years. It will also be the first to permit Blue Badge holders to drive through one of its filters, following feedback we’ve had from residents with disabilities.
These plans for Stoke Newington will be transformative - greatly improving air quality, creating a better neighbourhood, and helping to rebuild a greener Hackney for our residents and businesses.
We want to make sure that London’s recovery from coronavirus makes the capital a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable place for everyone. Evidence shows that well-designed changes to local roads are popular with residents, reduce road danger, alongside a long list of other advantages. We’ll continue working with Hackney Council to ensure that people and businesses across the borough can benefit from vital schemes such as these changes to Stoke Newington Church Street.
The Council has completed comprehensive traffic monitoring in advance of the scheme’s implementation, and is set to repeat monitoring at regular intervals during the scheme’s implementation to assess its impact. It will take this monitoring into account, alongside the views of residents and businesses, in making a decision on whether or not to make these measures permanent.
It is expecting significant reductions in traffic on Church Street, Albion Road, and the majority of neighbourhood roads once the scheme is implemented. However, some increases in traffic on Manor Road are expected. Transport for London and the Council do not expect these to have a significant impact on bus times, however the Council is removing some parking bays at existing pinch points on Manor Road to improve traffic flow in advance of the Stoke Newington scheme being introduced.
The Council’s modelling also shows that there could be a small increase in traffic on Crossway as a result of the filters in the Stoke Newington area. It is working on possible measures to mitigate any excess traffic levels on this road, which will be informed by traffic monitoring.
Find out more at hackney.gov.uk/stoke-newington-ltn.