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Council continues to create greener, healthier streets for schoolchildren

As part of its ambition to create a more equal borough, the council is reimagining the way that people use their streets – to help unlock a range of health and wellbeing benefits, to improve air quality, and to create more welcoming spaces.  

To support this, the council is making major improvements outside the school gate, which will help support children’s development, while making the school run more environmentally-friendly and healthy.  

As part of this, the council has listened carefully to ideas, insights, and feedback from the local community, and has made exciting changes outside the Dartmouth Park Hill and Highgate Hill entrances to St Joseph’s Primary School, as well as on Hornsey Road – which houses both Montem and Samuel Rhodes Primary Schools. These include:  

  • new greening, including trees and beds   
  • seating areas for children and adults 
  • improvements to pedestrian crossings 
  • resurfacing and widening pavements, so it’s easier for everyone – including disabled people – to use streets   
  • new cycle parking.  

Meanwhile, at St Joseph’s Primary School, the council has also created a new “continuous crossing” at the junction of Highgate Hill and Waterlow Road. This means that the layout of the pavement does not change as it reaches the crossing, which improves safety for people walking, cycling, and wheeling by encouraging vehicles to slow down. 

Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Air Quality, and Transport, said: “We’re determined to create a more equal borough for everyone, including Islington’s schoolchildren. As part of that, we want to ensure Islington is a child-friendly place, where young people can grow-up in green, welcoming streets, free from the negative effects of air pollution.  

“That’s why we’re creating more environmentally-friendly and attractive spaces outside schools, where the toxic impacts of air pollution are reduced. By doing so, we’re support improvements in air quality, and are directly supporting children’s health, learning and development.  

“We’re looking forward to seeing the benefits that these changes bring, and to continuing our efforts to create a greener Islington for all.” 

As part of its efforts to create a greener, more child-friendly Islington, the council has recently introduced its 37th School Street outside Sacred Heart Primary School, following extensive engagement and consultation with the local community.  

Where School Streets would usually involve a temporary closure of roads outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times, the unique position of Sacred Heart has meant that this isn’t possible. The council, following feedback and monitoring, has instead created a trial, 24/7 traffic filter – a point in the road that vehicles can drive up to, but not through - at the junction of Georges Road and Eden Grove.  

This will prevent motor vehicles – aside from that are exempt from the filter, like Blue Badge holders living in the surrounding area – from cutting through the street outside the school. 

It’s one of several exciting improvements that the council has made outside the school, including creating new artwork on the road to encourage people driving to slow down, new cycling parking, greenery, pavement resurfacing and widening, and extending the pavement at the junction of Greary Street and George’s Road. 

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