In Hackney three low-traffic neighbourhoods have been established, numerous other roads have been closed to though traffic and cycleways and pavements across the borough have been improved. “We are trying to rebuild a greener Hackney through quieter, safer streets,” said councillor Jon Burke, who is leading the project. “It isn’t an easy process, but with among the highest road casualty and air pollution rates in the country, it is an absolutely necessary one.” From Leicester to Leeds, Brighton to Bristol, it is a picture that is being replicated in cities across the UK. Earlier in the pandemic the Scottish government announced £10m to create pop-up walking and cycling routes, while in Greater Manchester council leaders have given more space for people walking and cycling, including the pedestrianisation of part of Deansgate in the city centre. But the changes have also provoked a fierce backlash from some drivers who complain the schemes have been imposed without proper consultation, claiming they increase traffic on surrounding routes, and hinder their ability to drive where they want, when they want. A Guardian analysis of Transport for London consultations on cycle schemes before the pandemic revealed they were often withdrawn or altered following consistent objections from Conservative politicians, taxi drivers’ organisations and residents’ associations in wealthy areas.
Guardian 24th Sept 2020 read more »