Plans to limit daytime traffic on Church Street get thumbs-up

A car-free day on Church Street in 2019. Photograph: Hackney Council

Transport for London (TfL) has approved plans by Hackney Council to curb traffic on Stoke Newington Church Street during the daytime.

Cars will only have access from 7pm until 7am, seven days a week, with only buses, emergency vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians able to use the road at any time.

The plans are expected to come into effect on a trial basis on 20 September, and form part of the Town Hall’s drive to rebuild a greener borough, with cleaner air and a more active community, following the coronavirus lockdowns.

TfL’s head of healthy street delivery Sam Monck said: “We want to make sure that London’s recovery from coronavirus makes the capital a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable place for everyone. 

“Evidence shows that well-designed changes to local roads are popular with residents and reduce road danger, alongside a long list of other advantages. 

“We’ll continue working with Hackney Council to ensure that people and businesses across the borough can benefit from vital schemes such as these changes to Stoke Newington Church Street.”

As part of its green rejuvenation, the council engaged with residents in the Stoke Newington area in 2019, with many identifying traffic and air quality as significant local issues. 

The plans will see a bus gate installed outside the Red Lion Pub. It will be the first in the borough to allow Blue Badge holders with a registered companion badge to drive along the road at any time. 

Five 24-hour traffic filters will also be introduced, which will allow only cyclists, pedestrians, emergency and waste vehicles through. 

As with other low traffic neighbourhoods, the reimagined Stoke Newington Church Street will be introduced on a trial basis under an experimental traffic order, with residents able to have their say online or in writing once it is introduced.

The council hopes that the new measures will see dramatic traffic reductions on Church Street, Albion Road and surrounding residential roads, although some increases in traffic are anticipated on Manor Road and Crossway.

Hackney’s transport boss Cllr Mete Coban said: “I’m delighted to get the go-ahead from TfL on this scheme, which, as we recover from the pandemic, will support our communities to walk, cycle and shop in their local neighbourhood – helping local businesses in the process – and reduce traffic and pollution on Church Street, Albion Road and the surrounding area. 

“Since I’ve started this role, I’ve been clear that I’m here to listen – and this scheme has been designed following feedback from residents over the past few years. It will also be the first to permit Blue Badge holders to drive through one of its filters, following feedback we’ve had from residents with disabilities. 

“These plans for Stoke Newington will be transformative – greatly improving air quality, creating a better neighbourhood, and helping to rebuild a greener Hackney for our residents and businesses.”

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