Plans to pedestrianise through roads within a square kilometre of London Fields and Haggerston aim to reduce pollution and turn the area into a haven for cyclists and pedestrians.
The plans, announced by Hackney Council on Monday, will close through-roads to traffic in order to stop rat-running through the area.
Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to pass through the closures but motor vehicles will not. Planters filled with flowers, shrubs, trees, and bollards will act as the filtering system.
Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Sustainability in Hackney, said: “In Hackney, pedestrians and cyclists come first and we are committed to doing everything we can to make the borough a better place for them.”
Local residents will still be able to drive and park near their homes, but their journey is likely to be less direct than at present, said the council
A three-month trial period will begin in January 2016 and will transform one square kilometre, from Richmond Road and Haggerston Road in the north and the west, to Scriven Road and Landsdown Drive in the South and East.
EastLondonLines spoke to local people in Hackney to see how they feel about the development.
Ella Sweeney, 22, a barista from Haggerston said:
“I think it’s a really good idea, I think most of London should be pedestrianized. It’s safer for cycling, more people would cycle. I hate cycling here, it scares me but I think if it was pedestrianized there wouldn’t be as much reckless driving. I would definitely cycle more and I think a lot more people would do as well.”
Bajwa, 52, a shop owner from Haggerston said:
“There will be an affect on the people living in the area and an affect on the businesses as well – some people park their cars across the road and come into my shop but they won’t be able to do that. Plus, there will be more pollution… it will create more problems than it solves.”
Jack Abraham, 30, owner of Kansas Smitty’s, in Broadway Market, said:
“It would be great if Broadway Market itself could be pedestrianized – it’s pretty dangerous to go up and down it anyway. I cycle and drive a car and I know people have loads of issues meeting one another. I don’t live round here but I do drive to and from work, and I can imagine it could be slightly annoying if I can’t get to where I work [by car] but ultimately if it encourages communities and it encourages people to congregate and to interact with each other then it’s definitely a good thing.”
By Marianna Manson