Furious residents and business owners have slammed a London council’s decision to install wavy kerbs as new-anti car measure that makes the road ‘look like Disneyland’.
The radical redesign of the quaint 18th Century Georgian street in Islington – which follows the Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) trend of getting cars off Britain’s roads – will ban drivers in the mornings and early afternoon.
Islington Council went ahead with plans to ‘improve’ Charlton Place and Camden Passage in the Angel area of North London – despite their consultations showing them that nearly a quarter of local residents strongly disagreed with the plans.
Residents in the area labelled the proposals a ‘woke vanity project’ for the council, which is within the council’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood in the St Peter’s area of the borough.
Under the new plans for the road, which is currently under construction, traffic would be restricted and would not be able to pass down Charlton Place, which dates back to 1795, between the hours of 8.15am to 9:15am and 3pm to 3.45pm. Lorries weighing over 3.5tons will also be banned from driving the down the street.
These restrictions will be enforced under an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) with an 18 month trial.
The council say the construction will also include new paved areas which some existing paving with a new and ‘more attractive York stone paving’, as well as a ‘safer cycle route to enable people to cycle southeast bound down Charlton Place’.
There will also be more greening including planting beds and trees in the street and more seating on Charlton Place.
Workers were pictured laying intricate paving stones around the raised kerbs on Friday. MailOnline asked Islington Council how much it was spending on tearing up the road to relay it, but had not received an answer before publication.
Furious residents and business owners have slammed Islington Council’s decision to install wavy kerbs as new-anti car measure that makes street Charlton Place (pictured) ‘look like Disneyland’
The radical redesign of the quaint 18th Century Georgian street in Islington – which follows Low Traffic Neighbourhood in trend of getting cars off Britain’s roads – will ban drivers in the mornings and early afternoon
Doctor Trevor Turner (pictured), 74, who lives on Charlton Place, says he feels ‘f***ed off’ by the council’s ‘woke vanity project’
BEFORE: Charlton Place had a widened section of pavement to narrow the road to help control traffic flow
The wavy lined road, designed to stop vehicles, and slow bicycles, is yet another traffic-calming measure introduced under Sadiq Khan’s leadership as Mayor of London.
Fed-up residents, whose homes have been cut-off by LTN schemes, and motorists blocked from popular rat-runs, have voiced continued anger over the eco-friendly schemes.
Last November it was revealed that London councils issued 1.1million fines – worth up to £100million – to motorists who drove through low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) over three years.
The multi-million pound schemes, which were put in place to encourage a long-term move towards more cycling and walking, have been branded as council ‘cash cows’.
The widely hated schemes have been accused of making little impact on pollution and simply moving congestion and CO2 emissions to other areas.
During the pandemic 62 miles of bike lanes were constructed throughout London, with evidence suggesting they added to – rather than reduced – congestion.
Islington Council’s map of the Charlton Place development, which indicates the wavy road and the timed driving restrictions
Charlton Place (circled) is within Islington Council’s St Peter’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN), which is marked by the boundaries
Islington Council went ahead with their plans to ‘improve’ Charlton Place and Camden Passage in the Angel area of North London
In January, Labour-run Haringey Council was been accused of using motorists as ‘cash cows’ during the cost of living crisis by bringing in LTNs.
It was revealed the local authority could earn an eye-watering £6.1million in fines across four months from two schemes set up in August last year.
Drivers in the St Ann’s area of the north London borough were hit with 32,620 penalty charge notices by November 22 last year after being caught by cameras driving down seven restricted roads.
The council received £949,390 from these PCNs but if the £130 fines were paid in full it would pocket more than £4.2million. Drivers in Bounds Green, where there are ten roads with restricted access, were hit with 14,758 PCNs by late November, Freedom of Information requests showed.
It comes after North Somerset Council painted ‘bonkers’ wiggly lines in a new road scheme in the seaside town of Clevedon, sparking outrage from residents.
Traffic restrictions were put in place around London to encourage more cycling and walking but the ‘cash cow’ fines have been slammed for funding councils
Five London boroughs – Lambeth, Ealing, Lewisham, Southwark and Hounslow – have issued the most fines across the UK according to TaxPayers Alliance
Cars, buses and coaches queue as a cyclist uses a cycle lane on Tooting High Street in South London in September last year
The new white wiggly lines have been installed in the Somerset town alongside the beach front
Islington Council has said the changes will make the popular area, which is filled with antiques shops and markets, a ‘cleaner, greener and healthier place for all’ and will benefit ‘local businesses and local people’.
But these same residents and businesses say they don’t understand why the ‘crazy’ changes have been made to the road, and say they are a ‘waste of money’.
Business owners say the removal of parking spaces means they will have to park on other nearby roads to unload their wares, whereas before they had been able to park on Charlton Place.
Residents complained their concerns weren’t taken on board by the council, who they say had already made up their minds and were paying them ‘lip service’ with their consultations.
Trevor Turner, a 74-year-old doctor who lives on Charlton Place, says he feels ‘f***ed off’ by the council’s ‘woke vanity project’.
Mr Turner, whose wife is also a medical professional, said residents like himself and his wife were most concerned about parking spots on the road.
They raised this with the council during their consultation – who appear to have ignored their requests.
Mr Turner said: ‘We asked for more local parking spots for residents, but they didn’t give us any.
‘They have actually reduced the residents’ parking spots, so we feel a bit f***ed off. They wanted to make it more accessible for cyclists, who come hammering down.
‘The traffic on nearby roads is monstrous, and we still have to go through all these roads to get here. I have no idea what the curve is about. I guess it’s to slow people down, but it won’t slow down the cyclists.
‘It’s a woke vanity project and it doesn’t reduce traffic at all.’
Barbara Sims, 84, and Maryanne Wilkins, 81, have both owned stores at the top of the road in Charlton Road Antiques Market for decades.
The friends say the new curved road makes the formerly beautiful Georgian Road look like ‘Disneyland’.
‘We don’t like it. It doesn’t fit in. It was a beautiful street, but look at it now,’ Ms Sims said, as he gestured towards the construction of the new road.
‘It looks like Disneyland. It’s not good for businesses and it has upset nearly everyone around here.
‘Charlton Place has been an antiques area for years. The road is good for people to bring their cars and unload their goods.
‘I don’t know what these new plans are all about. It seems to me to be a waste of money.’
Her friend Ms Wilkins added: ‘We are all very upset about it. Charlton Place is a Georgian crescent. If you get in at the bottom, it’s too difficult to turn around.
‘It is unnecessary and will spoil a lovely Georgian road. It’s not sensible or even practical. It looks like La La land now.’
Maryanne Wilkins (left), 81, who has owned Antiques Market stall for decades says the new curved road makes the formerly beautiful Georgian Road look like ‘Disneyland’ and coffee shop owner Ashkan Pedran (right) said construction work is currently driving customers away
Roadworks for a new ‘wavy road’ at Charlton Place in Islington on March 22
Ashkan Pedran, who owns coffee shop Trampoline on Charlton Place and can see the curve of the new road from his counter, said the construction work is currently driving customers away, and that the two spots on the new road proposed for businesses to use to unload their goods will not be sufficient.
The 42-year-old said: ‘It’s bad for business. The old road was better. It was quicker for traffic. I don’t think the new road is a good idea.
‘The delivery vans can’t come through here and we are too quiet here since the construction started. Less people come because of the construction work.’
The ‘improvements’ are estimated by Islington Council to take up to six weeks to complete since work began on February 20.
Professional opera singer Susan Daniel, who has performed around the world and lives in one of the £2.5m terraced Georgian houses on Charlton Place, says the ‘inappropriate’ new road restrictions could also have implications for elderly residents worried about not being able to be picked up outside their homes.
Other residents on the road include Royal Ballet conductor Barry Wordsworth, as well as several doctors and a writer.
Ms Daniel, who has lived on the road for more than 50 years, said: ‘I feel I want to move, we are all very upset about the new road.
‘They are intending to put a camera at the end of the street – which is the beginning of surveillance – to check the traffic and fine those who break the rules.
‘I think it’s completely inappropriate. They say it’s about calming traffic, but they never showed us residents any plans.
‘They tell us they have knocked on all of our doors and dropped off leaflets – but they have not.’
Ms Daniel said one neighbour had recently returned from Australia to the road, and had no idea the construction was due to take place.
Another elderly neighbour also had her water pipe cut into one morning when the works began.
She added: ‘We are concerned as well because there are some frail people living on this street.
‘If you have to take a taxi or an Uber because the ambulance can’t come, we will either have to register the number plate or pay the fine.
‘This is a wonderful place to live, but there were never this many restaurants and businesses before. It feels like the street has been invaded and the fabric is being destroyed. And did it have to be so expensive?’
Professional opera singer Susan Daniel (pictured), who has performed around the world and lives in one of the £2.5m terraced Georgian houses on Charlton Place, says the ‘inappropriate’ new road restrictions could also have implications for elderly residents worried about not being able to be picked up outside their homes
Residents like were most concerned about parking spots on the road as they had asked for more residential parking, but it was not given
Workers lay slabs for roadworks for a new ‘wavy road’ at Charlton Place in Islington
Under the new plans for the road, which is currently under construction, traffic would be restricted and would not be able to pass down Charlton Place, which dates back to 1795, between the hours of 8.15am to 9:15am and 3pm to 3.45pm
Harvey Donnelly, whose wife owns an antiques shop on an adjoining road, says he doesn’t understand the plans at all.
The 65-year-old father of four said: ‘You couldn’t make it up… If you told it to a donkey, it would kick you in the eye, as my mother would say.
‘We turn up in the morning to unload goods for my wife’s store, but now you’re not able to turn up at eight o’clock or you’ll be fined.
‘They’ve got two loading spaces for however many businesses and restaurants… it’s just crazy.
‘It looks like a crazy golf course. If they put green areas down, people might come with their clubs to see if they can clear the houses.
‘They can say they had a consultation, but they never paid any attention to us or listened. They had already made up their minds, and here we are.’
Lynette Gray, another local resident, agreed with Mr Donnelly, and added: ‘I complained months ago, but it’s all pointless.
‘The whole thing is a joke, and I am not impressed with Islington council.
‘Everyone in our corner objected to it. They just paid lip service with their consultation, just like any other politician.
‘There isn’t any traffic around here – at least there wasn’t before we started this rubbish. They should be giving their money to people who need it.’
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