The sight of motorised vehicles could soon be a thing of the past in one London borough.
Hackney Council plans to ban most road traffic from 75% of its roads.
The move is an expansion of Low Traffic Neighbourhood measures and would be ‘the country’s most ambitious plan’ to tackle toxic air, according to the authority.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said the scheme would give Hackney the capital’s highest levels of cycle parking, car parking restrictions and public electric vehicle chargers.
Dalston, Hoxton, Chatsworth Road, Craven Walk, Cazenove Road and Stamford Hill will all have the measures installed between now and 2025/26.
Five areas in Hackney Central will be made ‘greener’ and Pembury Circus junction will be redesigned using some of the £19,000,000 given by the Government’s Levelling Up fund for the rejuvenation of the area.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods use a mixture of physical barriers – such as planters and bollards – and traffic cameras to prevent vehicles from entering streets while keeping them accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.
Disabled drivers with blue passes are also able to bypass some of these barriers.
LTNs are already in place in other parts of London, including Stoke Newington, London Fields and Hackney Downs. In these designated areas, only emergency vehicles and bin collection lorries are allowed to pass through.
LTNs are controversial, with critics accusing them of pushing traffic into neighbouring areas but proponents refuting this.
The residents group Hackney Together said: ‘There is no justification for safer, quieter roads for some at others’ expense’.
Hackney’s environment and transport lead, councillor Mete Coban, stressed that the schemes were being devised with input from local businesses and residents.
He said that as well as the new LTNs, the council ‘want to go back to those areas where we have made schemes permanent to make further improvements. That’s looking at the Hackney Downs LTN, London Fields LTN, some of those concerns residents have been raising for us.
‘We promise to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change and creating a greener, healthier Hackney as a result.’
The announcement from Hackney Council comes amidst controversy over traffic policies in the rest of the capital.
In Tower Hamlets, new mayor Lutfur Rahman has dismantled some established traffic reduction measures and plans the removal of more.
Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn has meanwhile been challenged on his planned expansion of the city’s Ultra Low Admission Zone to its suburbs, with many boroughs threatening legal action.