Hackney Council has proposed a three-month trial to close roads around London Fields to through traffic, starting in January 2016

Hackney Council have proposed controversial new plans to trial closing junctions to through-traffic in 16 places around London Fields in east London, with the intention of stopping rat running, using residential side streets instead of main roads to avoid traffic, as well as reducing pollution and making cycling safer.

The project, which is due to begin with a three-month trial in January, will block roads with “attractive planters filled with winter flowers and shrubs” to “act as a filtering system to motor traffic” over an area of roughly a square kilometre between Richmond Road in the north and Scriven Road in the south, and Lansdowne Drive in the east and Haggerston Road in the west.

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In response, two e-petitions have been started, one in favour and one against the proposals, with the petition in support having reached 255 signatures in five days, while the petition against has 90 signatures.

The petition in favour of the plan, ‘We want cleaner, greener, fume-free streets in London Fields’, states that 6,000 vehicles a day pass through Middleton Road and points out that only 34% of households own motor vehicles in the borough, which has the seventh-highest adult mortality rate due to air pollutants in London.

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Cllr Feryal Demirci, Hackney Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and sustainability, said: “We strongly believe this exciting project will bring significant improvements for almost everyone living in the area.

“In Hackney, pedestrians and cyclists come first and we are committed to doing everything we can to make the borough a better place for them.”

  • AJ

    the problem with the scheme is that it is zero sum, the number of cars trying to get from one side of London fields to the other will not change, they will just use the roads that this proposed trial leaves open to them. So Middleton road and others around it benefit and Richmond road, Pownall, Brownlow and Brougham Road all suffer. It is somewhat uncomfortable that those roads that suffer also are areas where there is high density social housing and the roads which are benefiting tend to be lined by Victorian terraces that go for in excess of a million pounds. A cynic would suggest that the gentrified end up with private roads and the less well off put up with additional pollution and noise. spreading the traffic makes more sense if you are looking to reduce congestion or blocking through traffic altogether if you wish to reduce the number of cars , but picking some roads and leaving others is just clearly unfair to those residents who lose

  • Garmon

    I don’t think Queenbridge Road will see a significant increase in traffic as no big N-S streets will be impacted by the scheme. I recognise that I may be wrong about the impact on Queensbridge – could you tell me which route you think they will be diverted from please?

    Rather than argue against this scheme, which I think is positive, could we join forces to argue for more enforcement of the 20 MPH speed limit and/or more traffic calming measures along Queensbridge?

    Also, as the scheme is a trial, the impact on various streets can be assessed before anything becomes more permanent.

  • Mel

    This is such a terrible proposal. Fine for those who will benefit and are happy to push traffic onto the street where I live, Queensbridge Road. Thanks for being ok with the idea that my family will now inhale more toxic fumes and will live with more noise pollution as long as you are not bothered. How utterly selfish and inhumane!!