Camden Council has won £1m from Sadiq Khan in order to undertake vital work on the borough’s air quality.
Last week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan allocated £6 million of funding to clean air projects. Camden is set to receive £1 million from this pot, and it’ll be used to fight toxic emissions.
One of the things the council plans to do with the cash is pedestrianise the high street, creating a low-emission route to Camden Market and implementing a few brand spanking new walking and cycling paths.
In Camden Town we will carry out trial closures of the high street north of the station
We will also bring in new play streets, healthy school streets and consolidate business deliveries #Camden #airquality #airpollution pic.twitter.com/yB4BW5rMUx
— Adam Harrison (@AdamDKHarrison) June 17, 2019
Adam Harrison—Labour ward councillor for Bloomsbury and cabinet member for a sustainable Camden—is very excited about the project. He explains in a tweet that, amongst other things, they will also be introducing a Cargo Bike Network, where we’ll see deliveries moved out of vans and congesting vehicles, to cargo bikes. You’ll also start to see a few electric vehicle charging points popping up around the borough.
Camden High Street is rammed with tourists every day, much to the annoyance of locals and businesses (ahem, us). But give them a few extra feet (the metric of course — Sadiq isn’t funding genetic modification) to walk on and it’ll be a far more pleasant place to stroll.
Besides the obvious issue of it winding us up, it’s also damaging the environment. The pavements are busy and there is little to no existing cycling infrastructure — this means visitors and residents are exposed to high levels of pollution.
(See also: 43 Of The Very Best Restaurants In Camden)
The street is set to be closed to cars from Camden Town tube station all the way to Hawley Crescent during the festive and summer seasons, as well as on National Clean Air Day and National Car Free Day. The Town Hall is hoping to cut off traffic for a few trial days before the end of the year.
The pedestrianisation of Camden High Street (Anyone else read that in Alan Partridge’s voice? Just me?) will come as a welcome change to many — some have been hoping for this news for years. I, for one, am looking forward to a lunchtime tourist-dodge without any pesky cars.
Fingers crossed the plans actually go ahead though, eh? I don’t think we could take any more Oxford Street-style disappointment. (Here’s a reminder of what happened there.)
Featured image: Camden Council
Also published on Medium.