• The noise and pollution from traffic into Dalston have driven people living near Ridley Road to start a campaign to green the streets. The leaflet at right has been popped through doors, and councillors are being lobbied. FIONA COLBECK offers some suggestions to make our lives less stressed and much healthier
LONDON E8 IS A GREAT PLACE for shopping, but since Sainsbury’s ended free Kingsland Centre parking, more visitors use the residential streets.
In zone C Hackney council provides paying parking spaces in Ridley Road, St Mark’s Rise, Colvestone Crescent, Cecilia and Sandringham roads and other nearby streets. But spaces are limited. Motorists who want to shop at Ridley Road Market, the high street and at the Kingsland Centre park in residential streets. And the newish Overground link tempts commuters to use Dalston as a park-and-ride venue.
I live in Ridley Road and every day I see double-parking; parking on double yellows; misuse of disabled bays; parking in resident-only spaces; blocked roads and the consequent road rage; Ridley Road used as a rat run; and people sitting in illegally parked cars, engines idling as they await a companion’s return from shopping.
All this culminates in stress, pollution, excessive noise, and danger for shoppers and residents alike. In these days of Parliament-declared climate emergency those of us who drive need to reduce our car use by walking, cycling and using public transport more.
What’s the solution? Hackney council should:
* not provide paid parking, which simply encourages motorists to Dalston, but instead make all of E8 parking resident-only, apart from for disabled badge-holders;
* make the parking zones smaller so we Hackneyites are not tempted to make short journeys by car;
* plant trees in existing parking spots;
* add more cycle racks;
* make rat runs accessible only to buses, bicycles and resident motorists.
For our part, we should:
* buy a trolley and walk to the shops. Our body wins and so do the lungs of everybody in the area.
Hackney council has just been given £500,000 by the Greater London Authority to do in Stoke Newington the sort of thing I suggest. Dalston needs the same.
For the health of the community — and of the planet — we must reduce our use of the combustion engine.
* If you want to help, join with other concerned locals by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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