‘A more pleasant environment for everyone’ – families support Stoke Newington road closures

Supporters of the Walford Road closures on Butterfield Green.

Supporters of the Walford Road closures on Butterfield Green. - Credit: Archant

Plans to improve cycling provision and air quality around Stoke Newington by closing more streets to rat-running traffic have proved controversial – but neighbours say the benefits are obvious.

The town hall brought in road closures around Wordsworth Road to make the Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1) route safer in October 2016.

Chiefs say that resulted in “aggressive driving” elsewhere, and want to solve the problem by closing Walford Road, Brighton Road and Nevill Road too.

But campaign group CleanAir4Schools say it will simply shift traffic onto Church Street, outside their children’s schools, William Patten and St Mary’s. The opposition has led the council to postpone its plans until it has the results of more detailed air monitoring figures, with fresh proposals expected in the autumn.

But now families who live around the streets that could be closed have come out in support and gathered on Butterfield Green, which is in the middle of the first set of closures.

Brighton Road’s Nicolas Capéran said. “There’s such a difference between the roads here, next to the green, and those which continue to be used as rat runs between Albion Road and the A10.

“Restricting through traffic will make for a more pleasant environment for everyone to live, work and spend their time.

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“By making it easier for customers to arrive on foot or by bicycle, local shops, cafes and other businesses will benefit too. The council really needs to move forward with its plans.”

Mum-of-three Claudia Draper, who doesn’t live on the affected roads, added: “We want Stokey to be leading the way in green measures - not going in the wrong direction. We can all see the advantages of making our roads more pleasant to live on. Children especially benefit when it is safe to play out in their streets.”

As it stands, 3,400 vehicles pass along Walford Road every day. Nick Franchini, whose car-free family live there, said: “We have to put up with speeding drivers, cars hooting, drivers shouting abuse at each other.

“Traffic has increased by up to 102 per cent since the first closures and we have genuine concerns a serious road rage injury could take place.”