Since the implementation of the Highbury West and Highbury Fields LTNs, Keep Highbury Moving has been engaging regularly with businesses and residents and listening to their concerns regarding the changes.

 

It is clear from this that the impact of the new LTNs in our neighbourhood and surrounding streets has been substantial, even during lockdown when day to day life is a fraction of normality. Many locals are frustrated, disappointed or angry that they were not properly consulted by Islington Council so at the very least, important issues could be taken into consideration prior to implementation.

 

Here are just some of the concerns we have heard from some of our local people and from some of our local commercial enterprises:

 

Vulnerable Residents concerns

  • Increase in loneliness and feelings of isolation for older and disabled residents, as the restrictions act as a barrier to them getting out and about and to receiving visits from friends and family.

  • Older people will now have to drive on the busy A1 Holloway Rd amongst large lorries and busy heavy traffic, as opposed to quieter local roads with access local shops such as Highbury Barn.

  • Carers are finding journeys to clients, who they sometime visit 2 or 3 times a day, are more difficult and taking longer.

  • Carers have incurred fines due to poor and inadequate signage. It is unclear who can appeal a fine and on what grounds, causing anxiety and stress.

  • Pharmacies are struggling with medication/prescription deliveries. Some medicines require refrigeration so extended journey times are more problematic. Lack of consultation and information meant they did not have the opportunity to plan ahead.

  • Some with children with disabilities and special needs who attend specialist schools, using school buses, experiencing additional stress caused by extended journeys each day.

  • Parents with young children attending schools in other areas, who have benefitted from car-sharing prior to lockdown, will no longer able to do so where it involves crossing multiple barriers.  Resulting in more cars on the road.

Residents concerns

  • Residents living on the main roads suffering from increased traffic particularly at peak times causing noise and pollution, and a less pleasant environment.

  • To drive to the other side of Highbury residents now have to go all the way around it, so journeys are now longer, slower and more expensive, causing more congestion and more pollution. This is because of the particularly large size of the Highbury LTNs perimeter.

  • Residents who lived in previously quiet residential roads experiencing increased traffic with confused drivers speeding, reversing and turning.

  • Residents missing medical appointments (including Covid vaccinations) as local journey times are unexpectedly longer and more difficulty to predict.

  • Mental health strain on residents concerned they can no longer get to work/look after relatives/pick up children on time/within their daily schedule.

  • Many residents do not have access to their closest main road e.g parts of HW Blue zone, despite claims in the DDR - Islington Council's Delegated Decision Report dated 10th November 2020.

  • Residents have lost access to their nearest Electric Vehicle charging point.

  • Residents experiencing parking issues where spaces on either side of gateways are taken up and parking bays have been removed to make way for cycle lanes.

  • Residents do not have space for safe bike storage. Not enough safe bike parking is available.

Increased Danger concerns

  • Vehicles including vans and lorries legitimately accessing now dead-end streets having to reverse/three-point turn to leave eg Highbury Crescent and Highbury Hill (note more children from the playground and school on those roads).

  • People feel less safe and more nervous about going out after dark on more deserted streets.

  • Parents are no longer able to pick children/teenagers up from Highbury and Islington and Arsenal tube stations after dark. The walks through the Fields and from Arsenal are well recognised as unsafe for teenagers, who are routine targets for youth street crime.

  • Some main roads can now be more dangerous to cross, especially for children, the elderly and the disabled.

  • Motorbikes and mopeds now bypassing cameras by using the pavements, as well as using the pedestrianised areas around The Emirates and through Highbury Stadium Square as cut throughs.

Emergency Services concerns

  • Ambulances and police cars on blue lights stuck in stationary traffic on main roads, leading to inevitable delayed arrival times.

  • Physical road barriers (Plimsoll Road and Highbury Fields) causing delays.

  • Safer Neighbourhood Teams walking/cycling rather than using patrol cars even where response speed may be important.

Shops & Restaurants concerns

  • Many are struggling with making local deliveries (a key source of income in lockdown and beyond), given extended journey times and increased manpower and fuel costs. Many are concerned that they may have to withdraw the service altogether.

  • Some of our main roads are much less pleasant to walk along due to additional traffic and noise so are now losing passing trade.

  • Cafes and restaurants are concerned that pavement tables will no longer be desirable after lockdown – loss of business/covers.

  • Shops are reporting reduced takings as customers are no longer using their cars for bigger shops (moving instead to larger supermarkets with parking or delivery).

  • Some specialist shops are reporting now losing custom from regulars who are no longer prepared to travel to them from other areas.

  • Local restaurants using Deliveroo and Uber Eats are reporting loss of business caused by people cancelling orders due to delayed delivery times.

  • Wholesale suppliers on Frogmore Estate and Drayton Park are extremely concerned by a dramatic loss of business as some regular builders and tradesmen working in Islington are no longer willing to spend the extra time getting to them.

  • Some shops and cafés on roads inside LTNs are now losing passing trade as their premises are less accessible.

Builders & Tradesmen concerns

  • Tradesmen are refusing to come to the area for small one off jobs, and no longer able to use suppliers if it involves crossing areas.

  • Increased costs are having to be passed on to the customer to cover reduced/loss of jobs and increased travel expenses.

  • Builders are struggling to get materials delivered to residential streets.

  • Many of the lower paid workers  in our community (delivery drivers, workmen, maintenance teams, carers) are incurring fines unknowingly amidst confusing signage, causing stress, anxiety and job insecurity.

  • Many of these tradesmen have already been suffering reduced work/income due to the extended lockdown and feel they should be supported and not hindered.

Community & Charity Volunteers concerns

  • Volunteers delivering food parcels badly affected as a result of the extra journey time and added journey stress.

  • Loss of social cohesion and community, pitting those who benefit from quieter streets (often the more privileged in our borough) against those who bear the brunt of traffic displacement, pollution and noise.

Public Transport & Taxi/Uber concerns

  • Bus journeys are much longer due to slower moving traffic on the main routes. This will be worse after lockdown when schools and workplaces reopen.

  • Increased pollution on main roads means more pollution inside the buses affecting both drivers and passengers as well as those waiting at the bus stops. 

  • Taxi and Uber journeys are longer and more expensive, some drivers are now refusing to pick up and drop off within certain LTN restricted areas.

Generic concerns

  • Signage is poor and confusing resulting in vehicles circling endlessly. 

  • Any roadworks/emergency works immediately cause further traffic jams and lengthy, confusing diversions.  No contingency plan appears to be in place.

  • Poor access to Highbury Fields LTN is causing unnecessary traffic build-up on Drayton Park.

  • Match Day plans are unclear and changes to access route on those days will cause confusion in the area.

The impact

so far

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