New traffic measures to be introduced in Upper Clapton, Hackney Central and Dalston

School street at Gayhurst Primary School. Picture: Hackney Council

School street at Gayhurst Primary School. Picture: Hackney Council - Credit: Hackney Council

New traffic measures are set to be introduced in the borough to support walking and cycling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Traffic filter in Hackney Downs Low Traffic Neighbourhood. Picture: Hackney Council

Traffic filter in Hackney Downs Low Traffic Neighbourhood. Picture: Hackney Council - Credit: Hackney Council

Three School Streets and four traffic filters will be implemented in Upper Clapton, Hackney Central and Dalston as part of the council’s plans to “rebuild a greener Hackney”.

The road restrictions are aimed at increasing safety for school children walking to and from school, as well as preventing drivers using narrow residential streets as shortcuts, commonly referred to as rat running.

READ MORE: Hackney Down residents praise introduction of low traffic neighbourhood

However, they have proved controversial, and faced opposition from residents who raise concerns about a lack of prior consultation, access issues and the knock-on effect on traffic.

Cllr Jon Burke, Hackney Council’s cabinet member for energy, waste, transport and public realm, said: “It’s impossible to miss how much traffic congestion is caused by the school run, which accounts for up to a quarter of cars on the road at the morning rush hour.

“Nearly 87 per cent of children in Hackney walk, cycle or take public transport to school. We want to encourage even more to walk or cycle by improving road safety and air quality.”

The new measures are planned to be implemented during the week beginning November 9.

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In Upper Clapton, a School Street will be placed at Harrington Hill Primary School along with a traffic filter on Mount Pleasant Lane, which will prevent through-traffic via planters and bollards.

To support the measures, a left turn restriction will also be added on Southwold Road at its junction with Upper Clapton Road.

READ MORE: Parents of children with disabilities feel ignored by “blanket” traffic measures

In the Hackney Central and Mare Street area, new traffic filters will be introduced on Marcon Place, Shore Place and Wayland Avenue. The council says these areas have long-standing issues caused by rat-running.

School Streets, which limit traffic during school drop-off and pick-up times, will also be added at Queensbridge School, following a consultation earlier in the year, and the Olive School.

The council intends to monitor traffic around each area, which it will consider alongside resident feedback, before deciding if it should make the schemes permanent.

“In 2019, 40 million miles more were driven on Hackney’s roads than in 2009 and most of these journeys took place on the residential streets where our schools are often located. The School Streets - and the new filters in Hackney Central, Dalston and Upper Clapton - are part of our plans to rebuild a greener Hackney in the wake of the pandemic, supporting people to walk, shop and cycle locally and prioritising public transport for those who need it,” said Cllr Burke.

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The measures are being introduced on a trial basis using experimental orders so residents and businesses can have their say online by clicking here or in writing.

In line with guidance from the Department for Transport, on-street measures will be implemented under experimental traffic orders.

Department for Transport guidance states: “The government therefore expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians.

“Such changes will help embed altered behaviours and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel.”