People friendly streets

A tale of two boroughs: on the Islington side, a busy rat-run for vehicles cutting through. On the Hackney side, a calm route for people walking, pushing buggies and cycling.

People-friendly streets in Islington

Talia Hussain lives in East Canonbury

Canonbury residents will be familiar with the neighbouring area of De Beauvoir. On one side of Southgate Road is a calm oasis of people walking with dogs and children. On the other, speeding vans and SUVs mean residents have to take care on streets and children are kept close or inside.

With more of us working from home and unable to take public transportation, being able to get about locally is more important than ever. In Canonbury, many of our pavements are too narrow, crowded or uneven for people with push-chairs, buggies, wheelchairs or other mobility aids. We've all had the experience of stepping aside to let another pass on the pavement.

Now, Islington Council is making some changes that will make our streets safer – like they are in De Beauvoir.

De Beauvoir wasn't always the way it is now. In the 1970's, it was a busy thoroughfare for all kinds of traffic. Road collisions were common, and child was killed outside of his parents' home on Northchurch Road. Residents had to organise and campaign to get Hackney council to close streets so that local children could safely gather and play outside.

Often people argue that making such changes will harm a local area. We can see in our neighbouring district how successful the changes have been: a pleasant residential area with several thriving local pubs. (We look forward to visiting them after Covid!)

If you'd like to read more, Hackey Cyclist has a detailed post about how local residents campaigned for traffic reduction in De Beauvoir.