Disabled feel trapped by road experiments, council is warned
Protesters opposed to low traffic measures gather outside the Town Hall again
18 December, 2020 — By Helen Chapman
Christine Isaac speaks at the protest in Upper Street
DISABLED residents say they feel “trapped” by road closures, as demonstrators returned to the Town Hall.
Islington Council’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) policy will see temporary measures stop drivers cutting through residential streets.
The council wants to bring down pollution and ensure that people do not turn to their cars as use of public transport falls.
But around 100 protesters campaigning against the schemes gathered with placards in Upper Street on Saturday.
They say main roads will be choked by traffic and slow journey times.
Christine Isaac, who is disabled and lives in Drayton Park, said: “Why penalise the residents? They should get the rat-runners out but let the residents and disabled people in because at the moment everyone is trapped. I can’t walk and I have regular hospital appointments. My doctor is in East Highbury. I feel absolutely imprisoned.”
Demonstrators are opposed to bollards
Meanwhile disabled resident Michelle Martin who lives in Highbury said: “It is going to be hard to get into a taxi. It is going to make my journey longer and it is going to cost me more. I use them every time I have a [medical] appointment.”
Islington faced near weekly protests outside the council’s offices during the summer but has insisted it must try and clean the borough’s air and make walking and cycling easier.
The Town Hall’s environment chief Labour councillor Rowena Champion said: “We know some people, including some disabled people, rely on vehicles for travel. All homes and businesses in Islington can still be accessed by car.
“We carefully consider all feedback received and, where necessary, have made and will continue to make changes to improve accessibility in individual people-friendly streets neighbourhoods.
“People-friendly streets will also bring benefits for some disabled people, including making it easier to use their local streets because of reduced traffic danger, pollution and noise.”