Row over road closures in Hackney

Congestion is already heavy in the roads surrounding De Beauvoir

Congestion is already heavy in the roads surrounding De Beauvoir - Credit: Archant

War has erupted in the quiet streets of Hackney after proposals to block off traffic at five roads have pitted neighbours in the affluent area against each other.

Some accuse “snooty home owners” of sneakily trying to bump up their house prices to the detriment of everyone else.

A consultation has been extended following outrage at plans by Transport for London and Hackney Council to close junctions in Buckingham Road, Culford Road, Ardleigh Road, De Beauvoir Road and Tottenham Road – the biggest shake-up of the area in 40 years.

The move follows the last phase of consultation over TfL’s Cycle Superhighway 1 – which proposed closing the junctions of Stamford and Tottenham roads with Kingsland Road.

More than 350 local people signed a petition six months ago asking for their roads to be shut to through traffic. The council says it will create quieter, safer neighbourhoods more conducive to walking and cycling as well as improving air quality in many streets. But angry opponents have now started up their own petition claiming diverting traffic will make congestion and air pollution even worse in Kingsland Road, Southgate Road, Englefield Road and Balls Pond Road.


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Anna Butler, who lives in Southgate Road, said the cycleway was supposed to be an eco initiative but was becoming “very ungreen”.

She said: “Surely simple logic says, if you have 10 cars and 10 streets, it’s better to send one car down each, than have 10 all stuck in the same queue. Journeys are shorter, stationary traffic is reduced, pollution is able to dissipate and the burden is shared.

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“Neighbours are pitted against each other – often in the same street – vociferously accusing one another of sneakily pressuring the council to increase their own house prices at others’ expense.

“It’s divisive and snobbish to pressurise the council to set yourselves apart, to increase your own house prices which are already some of the most expensive in the borough at the expense of everyone else’s health and wellbeing.”

Architect Helene Dahm Gullaksen, who is based in De Beauvoir Road, added: “Hackney Council has only produced very inadequate data to support the plans and say full traffic counts won’t even be ready until the end of this week.

“In fact, the data shows that the number of cars passing through are really rather small and given that many would have been local residents, are hardly constituting a problem.”

TfL has extended the deadline for responses for two weeks until Monday November 16.

Go to https://tfl.gov.uk/cs1 to comment.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, the council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and sustainability, said: As with any consultation, a decision will be made on the scheme once the survey has closed, and TfL and the Council have viewed all the comments and responses.”

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