The Hackney Green party have joined their London Mayoral candidate, Sian Berry, in supporting Option 1. They say that:
"In terms of the current consultation, of the four options available Hackney Green Party believe Option 1, which would trial traffic filtering on the streets just west of London Fields, is most likely to lead to improved quality of life in the area. Similar schemes in areas such as de Beauvoir have led to an improvement in quality of life for residents and a better walking and cycling environment without a big impact on traffic."
Option 1 will reduce car traffic in the area, and as such as gained the support of Play England, who say:
"Car traffic is one of the biggest barriers to children's independent mobility and play. Play England supports measures in residential areas that enable more children to play out, more often. There is increasing concern about the sedentary lifestyles of our children. Fewer than one in five children meet the recommendation activity levels of one hour a day in Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) recommended by the Chief Medical Officer. Studies have shown children are more physically active when they are playing outside with other children than they are engaged in organised sport. Most parents would like to see their children playing out but are concerned about their safety. Reductions in traffic speed and density have an impact on children’s ability to play safely on their own streets. The number of children playing out should be a quality-of-life indicator. Children playing outside is the sign of a happy, vibrant community".
And we're not done there. We also have the backing of Playing Out, who say:
"The biggest barrier children face in their daily lives is traffic. It prevents them being able to play, be physically active and get around their streets and neighbourhood freely, safely and independently. And there is clear evidence of the harm this is causing for their health and wellbeing. Making streets safer by reducing traffic danger, and allowing them to be used in a shared way, will bring huge benefits for children as well as adults."
Option 1 is all about creating spaces and neighbourhoods that are more enjoyable to live in and be in. The purpose isn't to have a single Quietway - that could be achieved in different ways. The purpose is to create neighbourhoods and communities that are better connected, cleaner, safer and that are more conducive to play, enjoy and for active travel. We are delighted that the three organisations share our vision to improve our streets. The fact that they join Hackney Play Association, Living Streets Hackney, Hackney Cycling Campaign and Sustainability Hackney is a demonstration of the proof of the broad consensus being built about the benefits of de-prioritising cars on residential streets.
On 2/2/16 we held a fantastic evening talking to locals about the scheme, why we supported it and showing examples of where similar schemes had worked successfully. Some of the videos that we showed are posted below.
The London Fields scheme is known as 'filtered permeability', where bikes and pedestrians are not affected, local vehicles can access their properties, but through traffic is reduced. Here are some examples of where other filtered permeability schemes have worked successfully in the UK and beyond.
'But London isn't like Holland' is a common objection to any traffic improvements that are suggested in London. Holland in 1970s wasn't like Holland now, either. It only happened through a conscious determination to make it happen.
This is the story about how East Harlem residents fought for improvements to their streets. While the layout is very different to London Fields, many of the social issues are similar. Once the New York was in place, the benefits have been overwhelmingly clear and it is no longer controversial, but it had to overcome fierce opposition at the beginning.
The final film of the evening was this delightful film from Hackney, showing what our streets should be - places to enjoy, rather than places to pass through (or more pertinently, for others to pass through).
Thank you again to all our speakers who made the case for the scheme persuasively, and to www.streetfilms.org/ for creating many of these films and allowing us to use them.
Thank you to everyone who attended last night; it was great to meet you. We hope the event gave you some food for thought and that the speakers showed what can be done to make our streets better spaces. As Claudia Draper said in her talk, streets are the largest public spaces we have; let’s work together to make them the nicest spaces they can possibly be.
Valid concerns were raised, as always, and we hope that at least some of them were answered. We’ll try to put up a more complete report of the discussion over the coming days. Some very practical ideas and improvements were shared by the audience. We are really keen to take those ideas, throw in some of our own, and to include them all in our own consultation responses.
So, if you’re keen to see improvements on Richmond Road and Queensbridge Road, we are completely behind you. Let’s set up a meeting, agree what we want to ask for on those streets to improve them, and present a united front to the Council. Let’s just get it done!
We are a group of local residents who walk, drive and cycle. We support Hackney's traffic and pollution reduction plans. We firmly believe this scheme will help make London Fields a better place to live. We look forward to working with all of our neighbours and the council to make this scheme a success.