Hoxton ‘cycle grid’ road closures will turn our streets into rat runs, say neighbours

Neighbours span Murray Grove in protest at proposals to allow two-way traffic down the historically

Neighbours span Murray Grove in protest at proposals to allow two-way traffic down the historically one-way street. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Council plans to slash traffic in Hoxton will drive more cars down residential streets – that’s the fear of the people who live there.

The town hall and Transport for London want to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle around the area known as the central London cycle grid – of which Hoxton is a part.

And they say there are too many accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians at the junctions in New North Road.

But the proposals will turn nearby Murray Grove into a two-way street as well as making it the primary link between City Road to the south and New North Road to the east.

Jennifer Withers told the Gazette: “This will create huge pressure on the local area.

“There are lots of children and lots of elderly people.

“It has been a one-way street for the 30 years that I have lived here.

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“It is a narrow road and it just can’t cope with the City Road traffic – it’s not that kind of street.”

She added: “People don’t fully understand what the ramifications are.”

The London cycle grid is part of a 10-year plan to make a 100km network of Cycle Superhighways and quietways.

The plans will also shut Poole Street and Eagle Wharf Road to cars at the New North Road Junction; and make Eagle Wharf Road two-way between Bracklyn Street and New North Road, and Poole Street two-way between Imber Street and New North Road.

Jennifer’s neighbour Uta Kogelsberger said: “This is so important to us.

“It will make our road unliveable. It’ll be noisy and polluted – it will be horrible.”

She feels the council’s consultation “seems like just a formality”. She added: “We should have more autonomy in our community.

“The houses on the road are mainly council properties and that’s why they think it’s OK.”

But Hackney Council’s transport boss Cllr Feryal Demirci this week insisted: “The scheme should not lead to an overall increase in traffic through the area.”

A town hall spokesman added the scheme was supposed to stop rat-running through other streets by shutting some junctions to cars.

And he vowed: “As a result of the consultation the scheme can change. It’s not a referendum – the consultation feeds our decision making.”

The consultation results will be published next year.

What do you think about the plans? Tweet @hackneygazette, e-mail gazette.letters@archant.co.uk or write to The Editor, Charles House, 108-110 Finchley Road, NW3 5JJ.