David Harrison from Islington Living Streets and Tabitha Tanqueray from Cycle Islington met Jeremy Corbyn this morning (Nov 17th 2017). They were delighted to hear of his support for active travel and vision for a future in which our streets are rebalanced to make far better provision for walking and cycling and to reduce domination by motor traffic.
Jeremy spoke of his time as chair of Planning in Haringey, when he introduced modal filtering to close many roads to rat running traffic in the face of fierce opposition from motorists. He also talked about his role in the successful Archway campaign. Looking to the future, he sees the need to address key gyratories: Nags Head, Highbury Corner and Newington Green.
Tabitha, a doctor at Homerton Hospital, outlined the huge health benefits of active travel, which lowers the risk of so many diseases, improves mental health and reduces social isolation. It is commonly said that ‘walking and cycling are miracle drugs’. Enabling active travel is also key to tackling inequalities.
“In the most deprived wards, such as Finsbury Park, up to 73% of households do not have access to a car. It’s a matter of social justice to provide safe, healthy routes for those on foot and bicycle. By creating high quality, low-trafficked routes, we can ensure that the health benefits of active travel are extended to all residents, not just those currently bold enough to ride amongst traffic.”
Jeremy recognised the importance of Quietways, especially as he often cycles to central London. It was agreed that these need to be of a quality to entice new cyclists and families, who are too nervous to ride amongst traffic, and to be a peaceful and tranquil route which walkers choose to use. The need to address notorious rat runs such as Gillespie Road and King Henry’s Walk was also discussed.
David and Tabitha were very pleased to hear Jeremy’s positive views and vision for a healthier Islington with streets where children can play and everyone, including the young and old, can enjoy walking and cycling.
It was actually a great pleasure talking to a politician who already “gets it”. He plans to strengthen active travel in national manifesto.
— Tab (@mum_on_bike) November 24, 2017
See also : Islington Labour Party Member ashamed at lack of ambition and action
Pity Jeremy Corbyn seems to be linking lack of ‘access to a car’ with deprivation. Muddle-headed.
Tab lives in Finsbury Park, and the rat run Gillespie Rd is in Finsbury Park, so it makes sense that they should be talking about that area. It is true that Islington Labour simultaneously link cars with being a proper working class person but also to being lifted up socially. So what class you are in when you have acquired your car, having previously been deprived and suffering, I don’t know. One consideration, from a Labour viewpoint, is that If you are too healthy and happy because you don’t drive and the air is clean, you may stop voting Labour. That is the difficulty Labour tries to navigate. It is like being a Christian: what is your role once everyone stops needing help?
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The people who are truly deprived are those who have to use cars to get around because there’s no decent public transport and it’s too dangerous to walk and cycle.