The independent London newspaper

Plans for pedestrian-only Clerkenwell Green will end these rat-runs

10 November, 2017

• YOUR correspondents are right to stress the importance of consulting those affected by the improvements proposed at Clerkenwell Green (Good intentions turn sour over pedestrianised Green, November 3).

But we should not forget that Islington Council’s proposals do offer great benefits by replacing car-parking and tarmac with a largely pedestrianised public space.

In almost every case where this happens local businesses benefit from the large increase in the number of people attracted to the area, and this number could be very large following the opening of the Elizabeth line with a station at Farringdon.

For those who do come by car or cab, parking spaces will remain a few yards away. It is also right that the current wide gyratory (effectively a large roundabout) will be replaced by a single two-way street.

Concern has been expressed that this will become a rat-run, but relatively little traffic goes north/south along Clerkenwell Close past St James Church.

Clerkenwell Green suffers a good deal at present from rat-running traffic (from Clerkenwell Road to Farringdon Lane and from Aylesbury Street through Clerkenwell Green). The proposals will put a stop to these rat-runs.

The current one-way highway is wider than the proposed two-way street though we urge the council to narrow it further to 4.5 metres (which would reflect current best practice on traffic speed reduction).

The council scheme is in tune with the Mayor of London’s and Islington’s policy to give priority to pedestrians over motor traffic. All too often this principle is supported in general, but every particular scheme is opposed.

It is inevitable that change is feared, but in this case the council should press ahead with its scheme, albeit with improvements in detail.

Islington Living Streets


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