What does this have to do with cycling? Well, environmental considerations have always been key drivers in many of Islington council’s planning and transport policies including car free housing, restrictions on parking spaces on new residential and business developments, residents parking, green travel plans, reduction of parking for council employees. All of these policies create road space for cyclists by constraining car use.
Back in 2009 Islington Council passed a motion unanimously at full council to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2020. Council officers had prepared an action plan. However last Thursday, under questioning, Paul Smith, Executive Member of the Environment failed to reaffirm the target or any commitment to reach it.
While Islington has abandoned its carbon action plan, Haringey Council is going full speed on its plan. Haringey’s Carbon Commission recommends:
“Go Dutch” Work with local people to identify where segregated cycle lanes, improvements to urban design and smaller scale changes such as cycle parking are needed. To enable these changes, space for walking and cycling will need to be created by progressively removing private car parking spaces.
The Council should coordinate a cycling and walking infrastructure study to identify the barriers and potential solutions for increasing non-car travel. Identifying how the “Go Dutch” principles developed by the London Cycling Campaign could be implemented to make Haringey accessible for cyclists and support trans-borough journeys. Scoping work for this study would be carried out in 2012-2013 with the full study being completed in the first half of 2013-14.
Islington is a long way off from this. There is no serious plan to switch travel mode from car to walk/bike/bus. Yet everything we know; obesity, air pollution, climate change tells us that politicians should be moving heaven and earth to get us out of our cars. Try this for size. Councillor Paul Smith told a council meeting that poor air pollution was part of living in the inner-city and nothing could be done about it.
Islington Friends of the Earth organised a photo call outside the town hall for 12 noon Sunday 21 October. Here is their facebook event