LTN photo 2. ltn petition


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), part of the so-called People Friendly Streets initiative, have been introduced in many Islington wards and Barnsbury could be next!  This is a deeply divisive issue and the Cloudesley Association has to date addressed the subject only insofar as it has a direct impact on the Cloudesley Estate (for our policy, see the minutes of the latest Newsletter, here and the last two Association meetings, here).

However, in a departure from our usual approach on this website I am posting a personal view which I've felt compelled to write entitled:

"The Case Against LTNs in Islington".  (click to download)

It's rather long and a bit of a rant, but if you care about our neighbourhood I urge you to take a look.  I've tried to be as honest, fair and objective as possible.  It seems to me that the Council, supported by a very well organised and active cycling/environmental lobby, have staged an extensive and somewhat one-sided campaign exclusively in favour of LTNs and I felt the need to express the other side of the argument.  I'd be interested in any feedback, both for and against, so please feel free to use the Comments button below, or if you prefer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Just in case you're still unclear about my position on the subject (!), here's the conclusion from the piece:

Conclusion: the Islington LTN programme is a misguided initiative, poorly implemented, to address a problem which is at best exaggerated and at worst dangerously misconstrued.  The costs of the programme, especially in terms of unintended consequences, hugely outweigh the benefits.  Many of Islington’s constituencies, including some of the most vulnerable, will be severely disadvantaged and the unique character of Islington itself will be compromised.  The programme should now be halted, re-evaluated and if necessary reversed.  It should not be extended to other wards, if at all, until such re-evaluation is complete.


Update, November 2022.

I've now composed a companion piece to "The Case Against Islington LTNs", this time focused specifically on Barnsbury:

"The Case Against a Barnsbury LTN"(click to download)

Once again:

  • this is a personal view
  • I'd be interested in any feedback
  • and here's my hard-hitting conclusion:

Conclusion: Islington Council is planning to introduce a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) programme in Barnsbury, under the misleading branding of “Liveable Barnsbury”.  Although its detailed plans remain obscure, the Council should be resisted.  As Islington’s largest Conservation Area, Barnsbury is already an eminently “liveable” district.  Thanks in part to a prototype LTN implemented over 30 years ago, traffic volumes are low and the current traffic system works well for most residents, despite the claims of a small but dogmatic cycling lobby.  Based on the results of LTNs already implemented in other parts of Islington, a new LTN in Barnsbury would almost certainly have an adverse effect on many, if not most, people who live or work in Barnsbury, including some of the most vulnerable.  The default position should be that the Council does nothing.

It turns out that my labours have been quite timely, because the following notice has appeared recently at the top of Cloudesley Road:

Liveable Barnsbury Poster CR Less Cropped


As you can see, as a Barnsbury resident you are invited to "Have Your Say on a Liveable Neighbourhood for Barnsbury".  Whether you believe the Council can improve our lives by extending its LTN programme to Barnsbury or whether, like me, you think our neighbourhood is perfectly "liveable" already and just want the Council to leave us alone on this matter, I urge you to come along to the Library on Bridgeman Road, Tuesday 15th November 5.45pm and make sure your views are known.


Update, December 2022.

Well, the meeting turned out to be a bit of a fiasco!  See our latest newsletter.  

But I won't be posting my personal views on LTNs here any more because I've built a new website called Keep Islington Moving!  Check it out if you're interested in the subject and do please comment via its Contact section.  Here on the Cloudesley Association website we will of course continue to update you on LTN developments especially if these have a direct impact on members, but we'll strive to do so in a strictly impartial manner (trigger warning: Keep Islington Moving is unapologetically of the view that LTNs are bad for Islington as a whole!).







#9 John 2022-11-10 19:48
Don’t you see Nick? This is personal. It’s the place we live. It doesn’t get much more personal than that. This area is diverse not least of all in socioeconomic terms. Not everyone has as much of a choice over which street they live on. The fact is, the current road closures and traffic measures favour the wealthier areas and push traffic to the poorer streets. What’s needed is a systemic assessment of traffic flow across the entire neighbourhood. I will read your latest piece and I’ll email you with comments. I want you to understand that my goal is not to be unpleasant, it’s to constructively challenge your arguments because I believe that IC is attempting to listen and make positive changes. I don’t want to squander that.
#8 Nick 2022-11-10 18:23
By the way John, my "Case against a Barnsbury LTN", as promised, is now live above. Somehow I think you're going to have a lot of comments :-). To save space, can I suggest you email me directly at nick[at] Thanks, Nick
#7 Nick 2022-11-10 18:17
OK John, if you insist on making this personal, then yes, I live in Cloudesley Square, and although at the time I did object to the closures (and my views were evidently ignored) I enjoy living here, not least because its nice and quiet. The point is that I chose to live here, partly for this reason, and you chose to live in your "hellhole", presumably because it was cheaper. What is inexcusable is that you now want to divert your traffic on to even more disadvantaged neighbours. And please don't be shy, where is the hellhole and what is your name?
#6 John 2022-11-10 17:38
One of the principal reasons this issue is so divisive is that traffic is inequitably distributed across Barnsbury. That is why you're struggling to recognise the "hellhole" I describe – because you live in a part of the area that already enjoys the benefits of low-traffic interventions. Is the irony in your fight against new measures lost on you?
#5 Nick 2022-11-10 12:30
Thanks John, but I respectfully suggest that you prove my point about "fanciful rhetoric". Where is this hellhole that you live in?

Anyway, I think you're going to love the sequel to my earlier piece, which I'm going to unleash here shortly. I've called it "The Case Against a Barnsbury LTN". Enjoy! :-)
#4 John 2022-11-09 18:34
Frankly, Nick, it's pretty infuriating that you refer to friendlier places to live as "fanciful rhetoric". I live on a residential street in Barnsbury that is overwhelmingly overrun with traffic. Congestion, dangerous levels of air pollution and speeding vehicles are daily realities for my family. My daughter was close to death last week when a car refused to slow down or stop for us at a pedestrian crossing. So when I talk about wanting a friendlier place to live, it's not some platitude or political manifesto headline. 

If you're so up for distributing traffic across the area, are you willing to campaign for Islington to open up Cloudsley square?
#3 Nick 2 2022-11-02 13:10
So although the Cloudesley Estate is now a delightful place for those us who are lucky enough to have chosen to live here recently, that came at a terrible cost to the people who lived here at the time of the LTN. I conclude that while the morality of LTNs are always ambiguous, the actual long term consequences, especially the unintended ones, can be huge and highly significant. And that's why, on balance, I'm highly skeptical of the Council's current LTN initiative. For the reasons given in the article, I strongly suspect that it's bad for Islington as a whole.
#2 Nick 1 2022-11-02 13:09
Hi Clueless. It's interesting isn't it? I urge you to look at our latest analysis of shops on Cloudesley Road (History > Places > Cloudesley Road "Hunting Ghosts"). It's clear that this part of Barnsbury was a thriving commercial centre for most of the 19th and 20th centuries but a whole community of local traders and artisans was more or less eliminated by the Barnsbury LTN which was brought in as part of gentrification in the 70s to 90s.
#1 Clueless 2022-11-01 19:46
Hun…. Barnsbury is one of Islington’s oldest LTNs!

Reopen all the roads near you if you love driving so much.