Last week at Full Council (7th December), Islington Labour councillors repeated their commitment to make streets in Islington safe for local people and eliminate all deaths and injuries on roads in the borough.
Islington Labour councillors voted on an amended motion in support of providing safe streets for people walking and cycling in the borough. The amended motion was moved by Cllr Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport. Cllr Webbe spoke passionately about the Council’s dedication to improving Islington’s transport environment and support of the ‘Vision Zero’ model, a strategy to eliminate all deaths and injuries on roads.
Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “This Council is committed to making Islington a fairer place for all. As Islington continues to grow, we must address issues that impede local people’s quality of life. That is why we believe providing safe and healthy streets for people walking and cycling is vital.
“Islington’s Transport Strategy commits us to promoting active travel and reducing the negative impact of motor vehicles. It is not fair that local people are subjected to highly polluting diesel vehicles passing through our roads, simply because Islington is a densely populated borough. That is why the Council is taking action so everyone can lead healthy lives.”
Earlier this year, the Council responded to the Mayor of London’s draft Transport Strategy. The response outlined the Council’s strong support for ‘Vision Zero’, the elimination of all deaths and injuries on roads by 2041, and ‘Healthy Streets’, reducing reliance on motor vehicles and encouraging more active and sustainable modes of transport.
Cllr Webbe continued: “Any loss of life on roads in Islington is completely unacceptable, which is why we fully support the ‘Vision Zero’ model in the Mayor of London’s draft Transport Strategy.
“We became councillors to make a difference. I am determined that this Council will leave behind a legacy of reducing the number of people killed or injured on streets in Islington to zero, reducing the proportion of trips made by motor vehicles, and improving air quality.
“That is why we are a borough of firsts. We were the first to introduce a borough-wide 20mph speed limit on our roads, making them safer for pedestrians, cyclists, children and all road users. We were also the first borough to introduce a diesel vehicle surcharge for resident parking permits and short-stay parking, encouraging people to switch to more environmentally-friendly forms of transport.”
Since being elected to lead the Council in 2010, Islington Labour has been working hard to transform dangerous roads and busy traffic locations in the borough. After sustained campaigning and holding relevant officials to account, it secured the removal of the Archway gyratory this year, which has been replaced with a welcoming, safe public space. The Council has also secured the future removal of three more gyratories in the borough; in Highbury Corner, Old Street and King’s Cross.
The Council’s changes to challenging traffic environments will benefit future generations to come. It is taking further action to make travelling through the borough healthier and safer for all, including by providing safe routes to estates and implementing cycle improvement plans.
In closing, Cllr Webbe said: “Our work is not over yet. There is more we can and will do. By working with local people and our community, we can further reduce traffic, eliminate road danger and enable local people to make safe and active journeys across the borough.
Pictured – Cllr Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport