• Excuse the question marks it was meant to be a pray emoji!!
  • Great if you live in the ward on an already quiet street where (lets be honest, you don't have a problem), awful for anyone on a road that would be considered as necessary to carry the extra traffic through the area and that would get more pollution, and more traffic.

    We should all have equal access to clean air, and these policies load the burden onto those who will never get that option. To be more controversial, you could also argue that lower cost or lower income housing exists on these arterial routes because they are less desirable, so therefore the rich homeowners that make claims about rat runs (probably 1 car every 10 minutes), are happy to pile it onto their less fortunate neighbours round the corner. But that doesn't sit well with people, although i suspect its the truth.

    I'd accept statistics in these arguments, but typically people roll out "how it was in lock-down", kids playing the street, feeling safe while cycling etc. All very nice reasons to make a change, but emotional nonetheless and never built in fact. Quantify the argument, show the real problem, prove there is a problem (and where it actually sits, as it might not be in your street in reality), not just the aspiration (nobody wants traffic really) and see what the best outcome is for the area as a whole not just your street in isolation.

    For the record i drive a car, i cycle, i want the streets to be safer, i want less pollution, but these LTNs are not the solution and i dislike the fact that they make someone else's life worse for your benefit. I might qualify for one, but i doubt it, i'm on a bus route so i'll get more traffic and all the diesel fumes from the buses as well. Happy days

  • Well said.

    Most people I know do actually walk and cycle, unfortunately they also require personal vehicles for work.

    Islington and Hackney have obviously declared further gorilla warfare measures on motorists which has lead to the buses taking twice as long to get anywhere and ridiculous traffic at every major junction.

    I have used excellent car sharing services abroad and would happily ditch my car if we had the same here, naturally though our system is set up to capitalise on the people that actually need it (tax paying residents).
  • I think I broadly agree. These measures don't reduce the amount of driving and car trips, which is what is really needed - they just shift the pollution around less equally, onto street where it is already bad (and many of which are residential anyway) - and where, ad you say, poorer people are likely to be living already.
  • Interesting to see the negative reaction. I had thought that the demographic concerns had been largely debunked:
  • edited December 2020
    If you get a bus via Archway they are now massively delayed sitting in traffic jams, this is the same for Highbury Corner after "improvements" and also down to Finsbury Park Station as the Seven Sisters Road junction has obviously been tampered with.

    I honestly fail to see who this benefits, save for the automated cars that are coming (and have a top speed of 20 MPH).
  • Whiteman Road seems to me to be a good example of traffic calming, slowed the traffic down to 20 mph and made the place look a bit better as well
  • @Arkady The article is interesting for sure. It has some facts in it which is rare on this issue so for me has some credibility.

    What i cant get away from is the thought process that the biggest issues to address exist in quiet streets where pollution is very low, car movement is very low, and the issue of "rat running" is really more anti-social as opposed to be a genuine threat to public life with statistics to back it up. The commentary is always subjective and qualitative as opposed to a made up example like this..."by introducing LTNs, we reduced pedestrian injuries by X% down to X% which is a substantial improvement in addressing this massive issue which was identified as a problem". "Air pollution in Tollington Ward is X% above the London average and therefore we are doing XYZ to reduce it".

    Tell me the problems in Tollington ward (not on Hornsey Road, Tollington, Stroud Green Rd, Hanley Road) that must be addressed with an LTN. How does it make it better for people on those roads? Statistically, what are the problems on the other roads in the ward. Facts should steer decisions, not emotion.

    I would like councils and policy to focus on the areas where the problems are , you know things like allowing Tesco lorries a free licence to park outside their store on Hornsey Road which creates a massive polluting traffic jam (because it becomes single track), which probably has led to cars attempting to change their journey into other streets. Who gave Tesco the planning permission and that option for deliveries?....yes thats right, Islington Council. Muppets.
  • I've been interested in this topic for a while, not least as I used to live on Hornsey road for three years - precisely for the cheap rent - and experienced the high traffic. Unfortunately during lockdown, the current road I live on seems to have had a massive increase in traffic, including kids who definitely don't live around here and are using the road as a quiet cut through where they can break the 20mph speed limit.

    I feel that the debate is tricky as inevitably (and it usually is rat running) traffic will be pushed away from the 'privilidged' quiet roads, to the busier roads if LTNs are introduced.

    However respectfully, I feel that's missing the point and is just an excuse for the council to do nothing if you frame it as privilege versus the unprivileged.

    Firstly, and I don't think this is uncontroversial, the council and mayoralty should be doing everything possible to make unnecessary car journeys as onerous and costly as possible, boost public transpo and make residential streets as safe, clean and quiet as possible for the residents. The car should be the last resort and with home delivery and remote working, that's increasingly possible. From personal observation of neighbours and friends who live nearby, it seems like a small minority of people are using their cars for every trip they make, others walk and cycle everywhere, so apart from work vehicles, I feel it's down to lifestyle rather than necessity around here.

    It seems that a lot of the traffic that people complain about is never local traffic i.e. neighbours coming back to the neighbourhood, but rather others traversing and rat running. Inevitably some roads are major A roads and others are purely residential - i think it's reasonable that the point of the major arterial road is to be used by this out of area traffic no? Maybe the zoning on these main roads (like the North circular) should have zero residential properties on them to avoid people's lives being blighted by their busyness.

    The second point of the LTN is about ownership in my view - local communities, council estates, homeowners should 'own' their streets - why should people who don't live in the area get to disrupt the peace and clean air, for their own convenience - we need to look at how us as humans prioritise ease of use, sometimes pure laziness of the car, at the expense of better lived environments. The estate near archway is a great example of a paedestrianised area - and that's definitely low-income, but it's calm, leafy and great to live/walk.

    That's my view anyway, seems to be all benefits to me with a bit of imaginative thinking a la euroopeene.
  • Also, is quietway 10 happening?
  • edited December 2020
    (I tip my hat/ tug my forelock to the contributors above; it’s been a while since I’ve seen this quality of writing on this site.)

    From the article to which Arkady refers:

    “In mapping the location of LTNs installed across London during the pandemic, the report found they have disproportionately benefited people in lower-income boroughs, such as Lambeth, Hackney and Islington, with fewer set up in wealthier areas.”

    —This tells us absolutely nothing about who in those boroughs (in terms of income) benefits the most. Referring to Islington as a “lower-income borough” to support the argument has to imply that everyone in the borough has a comparable level of income and live in comparably salubrious neighbourhoods. LTNs could still be disproportionately benefitting wealthier people—just ones who happen to live in poorer boroughs (but not necessarily poorer neighbourhoods).

    It may well be that there is no significant disparity (and I appreciate that this isn’t the only issue concerning the of merits of LTNs), but the statement in the article tells us nothing about that.
  • A map of Haringey's LTN implementation is here:

    They include poorer neighborhoods such as Bruce Grove, (which I believe is where the Broadwater Farm Estate is located).
  • edited December 2020
    People usually aren't very sympathetic when they can't relate their own life to someone else's. If you live your life on public transport, don't own a car, walk everywhere, how you could possibly understand someone that did? Any argument put forward just doesn't compute. "Car drivers are selfish, they pollute the air for my kids and make it unsafe on my street. They are a public nuisance!". Tough to argue against.

    But what have these car owners really done wrong? Cars have been part of my life in whatever part of the UK i've lived in. Supermarket and retail locations, have been built around people owning cars, houses in many places have garages built into them. Industrial estates and office parks work on the premise that people get to them by cars. I used my car for work while living in Islington, yet i just commuted out 50 miles every day. How do you get all of that changed overnight to address climate and safety issues? Those that needed a car bought into Diesels when the council said that we needed to reduce CO2, we now pay a premium to own one (and i will be forced to sell it in 2021 because of daily charges) because they decided that the particulates were a worse polluter. So many people have ways of living and cash tied up in private transport, and are paralised to make a change without help

    If you want less traffic and cleaner air, for me you have to address 2 macro issues.

    1. Facilitate the change of ownership of fossil fuel burning cars to electric or hybrid ones. 97% of the Car Park is either petrol or diesel i think. There has to be a halfway house between accepting that people need cars and have a right to own and use one in the borough, together with the the undeniable need to reduce pollution. We have another 10 years before fossil fuel cars stop being made, then another 10 years before those ones clap out. We are 20 years away from seeing the end of those vehicles. So why not take the pain away for people and acknowledge that its in the best interests of everyone to accelerate the switch. Hybrids and electric cars are too expensive for people, and there is no second hand market. Cars for some are their essential tool for work, or their lifeline to friends and family. For me that addresses the immediate issue of pollution without compromising the lifestyle choices of individuals.

    2. Make public transport the most convenient and cost effective choice of all options including private vehicles. People will change their ways when the alternatives offer the same or better than what they have. Peak travel on the tube is miserable and expensive, buses a bit better as you can see out, overground has been a good addition, but then looking at city to city transport i can fly to Spain for less than a ticket to Peterborough. The car is still an important part of the mix for many people. I'd agree that very short journeys are regrettable and sometimes unnecessary but who are we/you to judge? If you ride a bike does that give you a platform to judge everyone else? Appears that way.

    LTNs are a sign of policy being implemented without ever understanding all people's lives. They will help and benefit many, but also put many people in a worse situation. Nobody wants more injuries and worse air pollution, so why is there so much noise about it? Its because they're being forced without objective reasoning and explanation based on a specific areas problem and many members of the public hate that, particularly myself. Bring people with you on your journey, don't force things on them and make them pay for it.

    Oh, and the 3rd runway at Heathrow? All of this local work gets wiped out when that gets implemented by the government. Everything contradicts everything when it comes to policy.
  • In the UK aroud 5% of new car purchases are electric. In Norway it is 60%. They heavily tax new petrol/diesels cars
  • That makes sense on new cars, but how does Norway deal with the legacy of their Car Park? Do they penalise those petrol and diesel drivers, or will they help the switch rather than just make the new alternative more expensive.
  • @Brodiej I agree, on an international level, if the entire UK went carbon neutral our gain would be wiped out relatively quickly by other polluting countries, but... That doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

    More broadly, the argument that by trying to reduce pollution in one area means that other areas suffer doesn't hold water. By nature, we have to do one area and then the next and then the next. It'll always be sequential and in the short term problematic, costly, painful even, but fast forward twenty years and the effects would be transformative.

    We have a situation that a century of thinking on how cities should be run - essentially creating space for cars as a priority and people as secondary now looks like poor judgment. The reversal of that idea is not only necessary but in my humble opinion, vital.
  • Brodiej makes an impassioned defence, but the only bit that I find persuasive is the 'I commuted out 50 miles' bit, and even then only if that journey was impossible by public transport. For non-disabled Londoners I don't see why a car is ever necessary, as opposed to convenient. I've never had one in London, I know people with several kids who have never had one, and yet one finds a way to get to work and go shopping.

    Electric cars are only part of the solution. A significant percentage of particulate pollution is caused by tyre and break wear, which isn't resolved by going electric. Electric cars use more rare earth materials. And they don't address the catastrophic impact on cities of having a car-oriented economy - many of which Brodiej lists. Streets used as car-parks instead of public spaces, nightmarish non-neighbourhood shopping centres, front-gardens turned over to tarmac and garages, etc.

    Nearly all of the solution lies in pouring resources into public transport, but part of it is surely making it less and less convenient for people to own and use private vehicles, or some people won't switch. Classic carrot and stick. I accept we're not offering a big enough carrot though.

    This report suggests that self-driving vehicles will basically abolish private vehicles altogether in a generation:
  • @Arkady . Every individual has a right to own and drive a car, you've observed people that have chosen to live in a different way. And that is perfectly fine. If you want car owners/drivers to be more like you, you're going to have to bring them along with you, not judge their decisions because they're different to your own and your friends. If you want to penalise them, expect them to be angry and to have an opinion because they will feel like their needs have been ignored. If you're saying everyone should just suck it up, thats easy when its not really you that has to compromise as the change happens.

    Lets get back to LTNs. What statistics can be quoted to show the size of the problems existing in the wards that need to be fixed and how the LTNs will reduce or remove that problem. What defines whether something is a problem, who decides that then? What is a big enough change for something to be deemed a success? Its so easy to see how they get implemented, its just done on gut feel and a few fast tracked loaded consultation questionnaires.
  • (I'm going to have to be a bore, sorry)

    They do have a 'right' to at present, that's absolutely true, but not a right for it to be convenient. I don't want to ignore anyone's 'needs' as you put it, but their desire to place convenience over a less harmful choice. I agree that people tend to get angry when their convenience is threatened, and also be disinclined to be lectured to about ethics!

    Still, in most cases owning a car in a city *is* indisputably the less ethical choice, as I think you perhaps accept in the opening par of your articulate missive above. They're not just 'different but equal' choices as you've gone on to imply. And sometimes it's just not possible to bring everyone with you. So I absolutely do feel that it's right to make it less and less convenient for car owners in the hope that people are more likely to make the ethical choice. And I will vote for and argue for that every time. Why should those of us who are already polluting less, not being a threat to pedestrians and cyclists, and not contributing to an uglier and less humane city be the ones who have to compromise? It's not a like-for-like comparison. Surely this goes right back to the harm principle? Surely society should sanction those who choose to do something that harms society for their own convenience?

    Doubtless you'll just think I'm being holier-than-thou, and indeed I am, but I do think it deserves a good answer. And I've never yet heard a good one from anybody.
  • Arkady, I think that's a very good argument. My son goes to school on Gillespie Road. Usually I do the school run on a cargo bike (I used to have a beloved bike trailer that he grew out of). If the weather is bad I drive. I bought a bike specifically to do the school run. It was partly a desire to drive and emit less, partly to get some exercise, and partly because although a car is sometimes quicker for the journey it's often not, and sometimes a great deal slower. It's not that far, but given one way systems etc it's not that quick either. The relative efficiency and speed of a bike is very compelling. (i happen to enjoy it too). I have much less variability in journey time when cycling. The bike is better because driving is not that straightforward. If driving was even worse then I would probably use the bike even more.
  • edited December 2020
    When making ethical choices living your own life do you take into account your impact on someone else remote to you who might be affected by your decision? Convenience goes far deeper than getting in a car, but if you have strong views how do they manifest in other areas of your life? Your stance has to cross everything you do surely?
  • BrodieJ, your argument is getting close to the territory of "If you are only doing good in one area rather than every area you are a hypocrite!", and thus implies that one being consistent and doing nothing is better than doing something but not everything. I would rather try to do good and not always succeed, than simply (and conveniently) say that to be perfectly consistent in all areas is impossible so I am not going to bother.
    For the record, when we do drive it's often* in electric mode (we bought a hybrid, despite the cost), and it is charged from a provider that uses 100% renewables. On our holiday last year to France we took the train, despite it adding a day each way. We try and reduce plastic consumption. We buy a lot of our clothing second hand. When getting rid of stuff we often give it away using a local group or Freegle instead of throwing it out. Things are fixed rather than replaced. Etc, etc. So we do try and be consistent, but do not always succeed.

    *I did not realise how poorly the battery performed in colder weather, where using it in electric mode doesn't make sense
  • Don't get me wrong, if one needs a car for work or long distances then obvs it's fine and everyone should have the freedom for it - I guess though, no matter how we achieve it, through the carrot or the stick, less car use in cities is essential for the long-term health and well-being of citizens, but also the actual survival of cities as the middle and upper class gets the opportunity to work remotely (i.e the tax base).
  • edited December 2020
    Man I wish pubs were still a thing, this would be a great conversation. Gets right down in to the philosophical bowels, doesn't it?

    Lot of ways I could answer your question Brodiej, but the quickest one is probably "yes I try - and doesn't everyone'? Doesn't everyone face those decisions every day - the individual versus the collective good?

    I'm no extremist (except on architecture and the works of Bob Dylan), so I try not to fly very often (but do fly), I try to eat meat only occasionally (but I do eat meat), I try not to buy clothes very often (but have a nifty collection of whiskets), etc. I despise cars, but do take the occasional cab. Isn't the harm principle totally fundamental to all decisions that effect others?

    I suppose this one is a particular bugbear for me, as it's an example of a something that has considerably added to individual convenience while, on the other end of the scale, had catastrophic effects on people lungs, death rates, public spaces, high streets, neighbourhoods, communities, and the fundamental beauty of our cities that is so often dismissed as irrelevant or subjective. The argument for rebalancing is, I think, overwhelming. All I ever seem to get back is 'yes but it's great when I want to go to the shops', and... I'm not sure it washes. In the end, cars make us all suffer, even the driver.

  • I didn't like the use of ethics as an argument. Good vs bad people. If anti vehicle individuals open their own lives to be interrogated there will be holes, lots of holes and as such i think that's not a platform to bring ethics into a discussion. Many decisions will be creating a negative impact on others far away, but we like to overlook that and focus on the things we can see and smell in our close environment as it's easy. We as a family try to be better in lots of ways, but we have a car and use it. During Covid times it has taken us to vast open spaces, safe havens, places to play and have fun with children all in the comfort that its a safe space. I don't disagree with any of the end goals mentioned, i just don't think anyone has determined a fair way to make it happen.

    Its Friday night. I shouldn't be on my phone, its been a better debate than many in recent times, so i'll bow out of this one. Have a good evening all.
  • @Brodiej sorry if it looks like we're having a go, the aim of the ire is people rat running through neighbourhoods they don't live in - obviously having a car and using it isn't a sin!

    The LTNs are supposed to reduce through traffic not to stop driving altogether.
  • edited December 2020
    @LukeG and Islington in general is a tough crowd for me on this issue which is to be expected, i'm the outlier. Some differing points of view which is normal on a site like this.

    I'll support LTNs when they are proposed in a way that objectively shows the problem before they make the change, and shows why that area gets the treatment and another doesn't.
  • Totally agree with Brodiej about this weird view that all noise and traffic should be directed to main roads in the area. This was my bugbear when the Sugar Lounge debate raged. Some people like myself were placed on main street through social housing. That seemed to open this debate about you should be grateful that you have social housing and take what you get. I've worked all my life as most on my housing co-op have but the elite think we've got mortgages and forget not everyone has that luck especially lately with house prices. But I agree with Arkdady about car use. It should be avoided in cities especially . Yes we have a right to have a car as we have a right to just dump all rubbish in the same bag and not care about the earth turning into a giant landfill site. We do have to be mindful about the environment. I spent the first part of my life in Hackney and my parents didn't have a car. I'm still alive.
  • Y'all might be interested in this -

    I get that some people have to live on main roads - I have done so for 5 years in total and couldn't wait to get away. Ideally the council planners should bear this in mind when they're zoning and only have office and shop space on main thoroughfares rather than housing and then try to convert a lot of the residential street space into more amenable use - if you think about the average residential road, interesting experiments could be made to convert one side of car parking space plus one way of the lanes to tree planting and wide pavements with flowers ( the sort of flower planting verges like in French towns) and potentially create one way streets.

    I'm also a massive fan of shutting (some) roads off on one Sunday a month in London and allow people to roam freely and the kids play in the streets.

    I'm pretty sure across Europe there are no driving Sundays in major cities and in Italy most twin centres are fully paedestrianised. That doesn't seem to hurt them.

    I always spent my childhood being driven out to a green space as I lived under the Heathrow flight path (literally 400m from the runway - I can't help but think we can make cities nice enough so that parents don't need to take their kids out of town for peace and quiet.
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