London Fields Quietway filtering consultation
LB Hackney seeks to impose an "ambitious" scheme to close roads around London Fields to through traffic. After a botched attempt to introduce a trial without consultation, the Council has now embarked on a flawed consultation, which pushes a flawed scheme on the area. As the consultation is now open, local residents should get themselves as informed as possible in order to make decisions which will not have a negative impact on the area inside and around London Fields.
Many residents have asked us to help them decipher the bewildering consultation paperwork.
Our main recommendation remains to SAY NO to Option 1, ie the original scheme that nobody wanted to see go to trial.
Reason 3 : Endangers our children
Additonal traffic on these roads will mean that children will cross busier roads when coming in and out of schools. Many parents bike to schools and they too will have to navigate busier roads around their school(s)
Reason 4 : Does not address key issues for cyclists
Freedom of information requests made by our residents have shown that:
a- One of the main pressure point in the area for cyclists is the junction of Middleton and Kingsland road to access De Beauvoir - this is not addressed in any of the options
b- Option 1 closes off roads that are already quiet and the roads that are widely used by cyclists such as Queensbridge and Richmond are being made busier by traffic displacement (see map)
Reason 5 : It creates a maze hindering community services
During the drop in session of Jan 27, we were told that emergency services will be able to go through plastic bollards. (Long gone are the proposed flower planters.) These will only be legally accessed by emergency services but all other services such as elderly meals delivery, Royal Mail, Dial a ride, Lady Cars (Transport for the elderly and people with disabilities), food delivery etc... will have to negotiate the incredible maze to serve the community within the closed zone.
Reason 6 : It creates a gated ghetto with crime increase potential?
Many of our female residents have expressed concerns about living in an area that essentially has very little traffic. They said that they would feel unsafe walking or cycling home at night in deserted streets.
Reason 7 : Impacts local businesses in Haggerston and Landsdowne Drive
Shops located at "the triangle" west end of Scriven St will suffer from the lack of through traffic as will the Fields Cafe on Landsdowned drive.
Many households West of Landsdowne Drive who cannot cycle or walk will not easily be able to access Broadway Market. They will be forced to go via Richmond Road/Mare Street or Queensbridge Rd/Whiston Rd,
Reason 2: More cars = pollution near 7 schools/nurseries
Pollution from these roads damages the health of everyone, including users of London Fields, and most importanty it will affect children of the area. There are no less than 7 schools and nurseries directly on or very near those roads.
Queensbridge Primary School
Mapledene Children's Centre (60m)
Sebright Children's Centre
Gayhurst Community School (120m)
Holy Trinity Primary School
Sebright Community School (300m)
Reason 8 : No serious alternative solutions considered
Option 1 is NOT essential to get a cycling Quietway in place; alternative routes and solutions could be explored. For example the Quietway could run through Albion Drive, Albion Square and up towards the top of Middleton. This way is extremely quiet and wouldn't require any road closures at all and very little funding would be needed.
The Council is claiming that they are not funding the scheme, TFL is, but isn't TFL still funded by us tax payers? Their main income comes from fares, yes the same ones that keep on rising. So no, funding the scheme is not free, it is paid for by people taking public transports.
Reason 9 : No serious data to back up its so-called benefits
Residents freedom of information requests and letters with local Councillors have highlighted that option 1 has been designed:
- Based on outdated traffic data (some 2+ years old)
- Without carrying out traffic modelling to scientifically predict traffic displacement
- Without carrying out air pollution monitoring and modelling
Reason 10 : Cyclists needlessly prioritised over pedestrians, children, disabled and elderly
We have demonstrated above that Option 1 needlessly closes roads to create a Quietway and reduces traffic in an area which already has relatively low levels of traffic. It increases traffic on roads that are already dangerously polluted, near schools and retirement homes. And, it stops elderly and disabled services from running smoothly.
If we really want to address the health needs of local people, the Council should reduce traffic on busy roads close to schools, not waste money and resources filtering streets that are already quiet.
Furthermore, the Quietway is sent through London Fields where no provision is made to separate cyclists from children running around and playing football. It has already started to become a cycle motorway but this scheme will ensure London Fields is no longer a pleasant park to be enjoyed by all.
The crossing of Queensbridge Road & Middleton Rd is not addressed. Many cyclists already find it difficult to go across, the displaced traffic onto Queensbridge Rd will make it even more tricky and dangerous.
An accident blackspot is created at the junction of Middleton Rd and Malvern Rd due to unprioritised filters. Cyclists will want to go straight through and other vehicules will be turning across their way.
London Fields traffic filtering
10 reasons to say no to the consultation Option 1
Reason 1: Traffic increase on neighbouring roads
The busiest, most polluted streets in the area include Richmond Road and Queensbridge Road. They see 10,000 – 15,000 vehicles per day. Option 1 will not reduce traffic on these roads. In fact we believe that they will see an increase in traffic, which is going to be displaced as a direct result from road closures. Proponents to Option 1 claim "traffic evaporation" but studies have shown that traffic evaporation is around 10-12%.
'In other words, in half the cases, over 11% of the vehicles which were previously using the road or the area where road space for general traffic was reduced, could not be found in the surrounding area afterwards."[Extract from Disappearing traffic? The story so far by S. Cairns, S. Atkins and P. Goodwin - 2001]
It is not just Queensbridge and Richmond roads that are like to be affected, it is also Whiston Road, which is conviniently located outside of the consultation zone and will become one of the only ways to travel East/West around London Fields.