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Hackney sets out plan to make three-quarters of borough low traffic

Deniz Huseyin
08 February 2023

 

Hackney Council is introducing a raft of measures designed to reduce traffic and pollution and improve road safety.

Consultations are to start next month on creating Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in five areas, which would add to the 19 LTNs already in operation, most of which use ANPR cameras rather than physical filters to manage traffic. LTNs currently cover about half of the borough, and the new schemes would increase this to three-quarters of streets, the council estimates.

The council says the chief aims of LTNs in the borough is:

  • Improved bus journey times with reduced traffic volumes on a local bus route
  • Low traffic walking and cycling routes created to nearby green spaces
  • Low traffic walking and cycling routes for secondary school students to travel independently along
  • New public spaces created for the community to use, for instance, pocket parks or parklets
  • Pedestrians are able to cross the road in a town centre or residential area safely and with ease 

Last week the council’s cabinet approved the local implementation plan to increase the number of bike hangars, segregated cycle routes, bike hangars and greened local streets. The council is planning to install another 47 hangars, bringing the total up to 1,322. 

Hackney currently has 48 School Streets, which, says the council, is the highest number in the UK. It is planning to install another 16 by 2025, which will mean all primary schools will have a School Street. Schemes are also due to be installed at six secondary schools.

The council is also carrying out feasibility studies to explore reducing traffic through road user charging. In his 2022 manifesto, Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville committed to cut road traffic by 30.6m vehicle miles (9%) by 2026 through road user charging.

The plan covers the lifetime of the council’s latest funding agreement with Transport for London until March 2025.

Last month the council secured £19m in Levelling Up funding, to transform five acres of public space, bringing new green space, trees and seating along Amhurst Road, investment in Hackney Central Library, and a redesign of Pembury Circus junction.

The council is seeking to reduce goods traffic by 2.5% with a new freight action plan. It also plans to publish data from its 30 live traffic monitors and improve the availability of air quality monitoring data.

Other schemes include expanding dockless bike hire and car clubs, with 100 new car club vehicles, and implementing more bus lanes and extended operating times.

 The council has pledged:

  • Walking, cycling, road safety or greening improvements on “tens of local streets”
  • 600 new secure bike hangars by 2026, and more secure bike parking
  • 3,000 EV charging points by 2030
  • Five new low traffic neighbourhoods
  • The expansion of the community parklets programme
  • Continue to integrate rain gardens into Hackney’s public spaces
  • Further work to replace the council’s diesel fleet with EVs, bikes and e-bikes.
  • Expanding the dockless bike scheme; cycle training for 6,000 primary and secondary school children.

Mete Coban MBE, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We are one of the greenest boroughs in the country - with more of us walking, cycling and taking public transport than almost any other area.

“These plans set out the next stage of our ambitions to reduce traffic and pollution; get everyone travelling healthily; and create liveable neighbourhoods that support this switch.

“Nearly all of Hackney will be low traffic; we’ll be developing options to support distance-based road user charging; there’ll be more bike and car sharing; we will create 4,000 new secure cycle parking spaces; every Hackney primary school will have a School Street and we’ll be doing everything we can to build a greener, healthier Hackney.”

Mete Coban will be speaking at School Streets at Lambeth Town Hall on 21 February

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