27 April 2018
Islington Green Party fully supports the Mayor’s aspiration to reduce traffic and get more journeys made on foot, by bike and by public transport, partly to cut pollution and reduce congestion, but mainly because of the public health and safety benefits of enabling Londoners to build physical activity into their daily lives.
We agree that our streets must be fit for children (and people of all ages) to travel independently on foot and by bike to school, the park and to visit their friends.
Highbury East Green Party candidates Caroline Russell, Ernestas Jegorovas and Benali Hamdache at a bike maintenance workshop
Responses to your specific asks.
1. MINI-HOLLAND: Will you draw up and submit a bid for funding from the London Mayor’s Healthy Neighbourhoods Fund, plans to create a mini-Holland around Seven Sisters Road and a new linked genuine Quietway route with roads closed to through vehicular traffic and removed parking, in Islington through Liverpool Road, Islington Park Street and Canonbury. in the first year of new administration?
Any elected Green Councillors will work with residents, cycling and walking campaigners and council officers on bids for healthy neighbourhoods funding to cut rat-running traffic and create low traffic neighbourhoods where walking and cycling are safe and convenient.
We want to enable active travel by people of all ages not just people who are brave, young and fit and support removal of parking spaces to achieve this. We fully support the mini Holland approach of filtering side streets while making main roads better for walking and cycling.
2. £20/PERSON/YEAR: Will you commit to spend the equivalent of a minimum of £20/person/year on protected cycling infrastructure in the Borough from your Borough’s own funds, to complement the funding committed by London Mayor?
We are unlikely to have a Green run administration after May 3rd in Islington. However the Green Councillor’s budget amendment each year has included measures to boost walking and cycling such as suggesting a diesel surcharge for visitor parking (2017) and plans to cut the cost of bike hangars (2018). Spending on active travel is always good value as the benefits in terms of public health are huge.
3/ NEW PROTECTED CYCLEWAYS: Will you commit to creating and completing a fully protected new cycle-lane Finsbury Park Station through Seven Sisters Road, Holloway Road and Liverpool Road with Angel Station? This will connect the two parts of the Borough.
We will always support plans for protection for people cycling. This can mean either physical protection (kerb) between junctions and may mean protection in extra time at traffic signals or both.
Taming the hostile multi-lane one-way streets of the Nags Head gyratory would be transformatory for Islington residents wanting to get about on bike and on foot and would allow a cycle safe route from Finsbury Park to Angel to be created via Seven Sisters Rd, across Holloway Rd and down Liverpool Rd to Angel reducing the severance caused by the Holloway Rd.
4/ 20 MPH BOROUGH WIDE SPEED LIMIT: Will fund speed cameras to enforce the 20mph speed limit on all Borough maintained roads that you have already implemented?
The Green Party is proud of the achievement of Green Councillor Katie Dawson who got a commitment for a borough wide 20mph speed limit into both the Labour and Lib Dem budgets in 2010. Speeding is currently a criminal offence and enforcement has to be carried out by the police who are suffering horrendous government cuts and do not have the resources to sufficiently prioritise speeding offences.
Caroline Russell has worked with police on community speedwatch4 and called on TfL to clarify what street design features they want to see on 20mph main roads and we expect to find out the answer when the Mayor publishes his Vision Zero plans after the election. Once this is published we will be pushing for any necessary action for Islington’s main roads.
5/ COUNCIL BUSINESS BY BIKE: Will you initiate a programme to ensure staff vehicular travel on council business will instead be undertaken by bike, where practical?
We are happy to push the council to enable bike use for council business. Caroline Russell has recently helped a community nurse to get more cycle parking on estates to help her do her rounds by bike. We would also like to see the council work with bike companies like PedalMe who could help reduce last mile traffic and pollution.
6/ TRAFFIC FREE HIGH-STREET: Will you make all of Upper Street into a traffic free street, with a cycle lane along its length.
Upper Street is currently a major bus route and we would not want to close Upper St to buses without a viable alternative route. We do support traffic reduction and making our high streets into people friendly places where it is safe and easy to cross the road and get around on a bike. There is space for bike lanes on Upper St and it would transform the borough to introduce them. We fully support the proposed car free day for London in September and will be pushing for a creative, ambitious and inspiring project for Islington.
7/ PROTECTED LEFT-HAND TURNS: Will you introduce protected left-hand turns and T-junction bypasses at traffic light controlled junctions where there are low levels of pedestrians, as standard practice on relevant borough controlled junctions?
Elected Green Party councillors will support protected kerb separated lanes for people turning left on bikes at junctions to eliminate risk of crushing by left-turning motorised vehicles. If physical protection cannot be squeezed in to a junction design we will push for separation in time allowing cyclists to get ahead of motorised traffic.
8/ SAFER HGVs: Will you install blind-spot CCTV equipment in all your SOUTHWARK (presume you mean Islington?) council HGVs, sign up the council to the CLOCS HGV safety scheme, to demonstrate a timeline for all your service vehicles (e.g. HGVs) to be FORs Gold within 5 years and make any new truck purchases to be direct vision lorries (in line with above and new 5* direct vision standard) and demand the same of any contractors working for the council or sub-contractors.
We prefer direct vision lorries to those retro-fitted with CCTV equipment. We are fully committed to Vision Zero and have regularly raised reducing lorry danger with the council. Caroline Russell has made sure that construction management plans in her ward have included clauses to reduce lorry danger and reduce exposure of children to lorry danger by avoiding lorry movements on and off site at school pick up and drop off times.