Greens call for 20mph limit on Holloway Road

Islington’s sole Green Party councillor has repeated her calls to lower the speed limit on “brutal” Holloway Road.

Councillor Caroline Russell, who represents Highbury East, said: “This road may be the A1 and go all the way to Edinburgh, but it is a residential road”.

“People here go to work, school, shops, and they need to have a street environment that’s not quite as brutal as this.”

Islington was London’s first borough to get 20mph on all of its roads between 2010 and 2012.

But some major roads such as Holloway Road, which is part of the A1, are under TFL’s management and are exempt from the 20mph regulation.

“Ever since speed has been limited in the borough we’ve been trying to get Boris to put 20 on Holloway Road,” said Cllr. Russell, who is also the Green Party’s national spokesperson on Local Transport.

For Russell, reducing the speed to 20mph is a “quick, cheap and cheerful thing to do that can make a difference in people’s life, and that civilises and tames the road.”

The Greens restarted their campaign on this road since Mayor Boris Johnson announced in a letter to a Green Party member in late September that plans for CS12, a cycle highway that was to run from Archway to Angel Station, had been scrapped.

Campaigners then claimed that the difficulty of delivering safe cycle routes on some of London’s busiest roads had been “underestimated” by the Mayor.

With the measure, the Councillor hopes to tackle road safety, pollution, and health problems brought on by physical inactivity.

She said one of her main aims is to “get people walking”.

Islington Cyclists Activists Group (ICAG) are also involved in the campaign.

Adrian Russell, a member of ICAG, said: “whatever is suggested, TFL refuses to reduce the speed because they are concerned about traffic flow.”

But while the Greens and ICAG are convinced that a reduced speed limit would improve Holloway Road, some local residents disagree.

When asked about the campaign, local shopkeepers or owners pointed out the negative impact that it could have, such as traffic congestion.

Abdul Farukh, who has worked at a local dry–cleaning shop for more than seven years, said: “The A1 is a major route in London; people that use this road are often businesses and big companies making deliveries”.

“They have no other choice but to go fast.”

Alice Colmann, owner of Nu–u Therapies and Holloway resident for over 30 years, claims the road needs “more zebra crossings rather than a speed limitation”

Ms Coleman added she had seen a number of accidents involving pedestrians crossing in the wrong place.

In spite of diverging opinions, the campaign goes on and the Greens are still pressuring TFL to lower the speed limit.

“But they never quite get around to it”, Councillor Russell added.