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We need action, not fine-sounding words, to make our streets safer

06 September, 2019

Councillor Claudia Webbe

• YOUR recent piece about senior-staff turnover in the borough’s environment and regeneration (Env/Regen) department quotes political boss Claudia Webbe: “The environment is at the heart of our work to make Isling­ton a fairer place, including pioneering initiatives to… change roads to encourage more people to walk and cycle”, (Departures fuel disarray fears at Town Hall, August 23).

Hopefully, under new departmental boss Keith Townsend we’ll see some of that initiative in action instead of hearing oft-repeated, fine-sound­ing words.

The proposed Transport for London-sponsored Cycleway project from Finsbury Park to Highbury Corner may be something to boast about – though I understand there are problems with the scheme – but action is needed on our numerous side streets along which residents walk daily.

Perhaps Councillor Webbe would like to kick-start matters by responding to the invitation issued via your letters page to explain why those streets are littered with parked vehicles, given that fewer than one-third of households owns or has access to a private car.

As another correspondent says we must reduce car-parking space everywhere (August 16). Hindering the vision and safety of pedestrians and cyclists going about their daily lives can be no part of “our cycling and walking transformation” (Cllr Webbe, Islington Council press release, June 17).

Alongside Islington’s mayor, Rakhia Ishmail, and borough resident and Labour Party activist Valerie Bossman, Cllr Webbe is standing for selection as a candidate in next May’s London Assembly election.

If the transport and environment boss is successful, she will be hoping for Islington residents’ votes to help her in her quest to become an Assembly member – and there may well then be a fourth departure from Env/Regen.

Cllr Webbe has recently been pictured announcing the increased number of on-road cycle hangars. While this is a good thing, it would be helpful to hear her ideas for safer walking streets, particularly as I believe the councillor herself doesn’t cycle.

Ellington Street, N7


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