Cyclists call for traffic curbs on new Quietway
Campaigners say route should be used by all ages ‘not just those bold enough to cycle already’
13 July, 2018 — By Emily Finch
Councillor Caroline Russell, third left, and Tabitha Tanqueray, second right, with campaigners
CYCLISTS campaigning for less traffic on a proposed new bike route have presented a 2,000-signature petition to the Town Hall.
The petition was handed over by Tabitha Tanqueray, from campaign group Cycle Islington, which is calling for a trial to remove most of the traffic on the planned Quietway 10, which will connect Finsbury Park with Clerkenwell.
The petition prompted a debate at the full council meeting last Thursday when Town Hall transport chief Councillor Claudia Webbe said the council would decide what to do following a full consultation with residents and all road users.
Ms Tanqueray, a consultant anaesthetist, told the chamber: “It [the route] should be somewhere that people of all ages and ability feel they can jump on a bike to head to the shops, and go to school and work. It should not just be for those of us bold enough to cycle already.
“The best way to do this is to reduce through traffic. Something that stops traffic but still allows residents to get to their homes.”
Cllr Webbe responded: “We want all of our residents to have the opportunity to live longer lives and be able to do so as independently as possible. It is a clear public health imperative.”
She added: “We see the need to close certain roads to prevent through traffic and rat-running to make a more inclusive cycling route. However, this should only be done after fully consulting the community and securing their support.”
Lone opposition councillor, the Greens’ Caroline Russell, said that just consulting residents was not enough to bring about positive change: “Traffic reduction is the only game in town when it comes to transport. In order to make our streets somewhere people can walk and cycle in safety we have to reduce the amount of overall traffic. We have to enable people to make those journeys on foot or bike.”
She added: “A trial is a really good thing, to bring residents on board.”
Newly-elected Labour councillor for Highbury West Roulin Khondoker, an environmental scientist, supported a trial scheme, but added: “It does take community engagement between the council, residents, businesses and all types of road users.”