|Caroline Russell, Jenny Jones & Katie Dawson|
The long awaited response to the Scrutiny on the borough-wide 20mph Limits is due to go to the Islington Council Executive on 24th November. The documents have just been published online. Councillor Paul Convery has produced a report, sensibly ignoring the usual protestations from the police about un-enforceability and recommending "approval of the inclusion of the Borough Principal and Strategic Road Network under Islington's control into the Borough Wide 20mph scheme where funding is available, subject to consideration of objections in relation to the legal Traffic Management Orders." This is potentially game-changing for Islington.
Having been a stakeholder member of the 20mph Borough Board that oversaw the implementation of the 20mph limits on all Islington's residential roads, I was disappointed when Labour took power in May 2010 and seemed to be undoing much of the council's excellent work developing sustainable transport and nurturing alternatives to car travel. If this latest report heralds a change in direction on transport from our Labour Council, then that is to be warmly welcomed.
No one would claim that 20mph limits can solve all the problems on our car-dominated street network, but they set an agenda and an expectation that vulnerable road-users may be present. There's a long way to go with shifting the behaviour of people behind the wheel, people on bikes and people on pavements. We all have a part to play in sharing our streets and learning to value them as precious public space. But for now, campaigners from Islington Living Streets, Islington Cyclists Action Group, Islington Green Party and the many residents who have signed our petitions should shout hurrah and thank Councillor Convery for doing the right thing.