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"Disneyland" wavy traffic-calming kerbs branded "woke vanity project" by furious doctor... but council insists it will create safe cycle route

Residents including an opera singer aren't impressed, but Islington Council says the changes will boost active travel, reduce driving speeds and keep pedestrians safe...

A council in north London is implementing a novel approach to traffic calming, building a wavy kerb to slow vehicles and make the street a safer route for active travel.

The construction, described as a "new anti-car measure" by the MailOnline and like "Disneyland" and a "woke vanity project" by one enraged resident, is being introduced following a public consultation last summer in which 23 per cent of respondents offered a "full objection" to the plans versus 28 per cent who offered "full support".

Islington Council believes the scheme will "improve" Charlton Place and Camden Passage, restricting traffic during school run hours as part of a low traffic neighbourhood, banning lorries over 3.5 tonnes, offering new seating and planting, a redesigned carriageway to "increase pedestrian safety" and creating a "safer cycle route".

And while the Mail says the changes come "despite" nearly a quarter of local residents strongly disagreeing with the plans, they come with the support of an even larger proportion (28 per cent).

From the consultation, where the 209 respondents could agree with as many statements as they felt applied to them, 62 per cent expressed positive thoughts while 57 expressed negative some level of negative comment. The highest supported option, full support for the scheme, attracted 28 per cent.

Charlton Place consultation (Islington Council)


Also shown in the consultation is that 47 per cent of non-car owners offered full support for the scheme versus just 11 per cent of car owners. Likewise, just nine per cent of non-car owners offered full objection to the scheme versus 26 per cent of car owners.

Despite the consultation suggesting support for the scheme, speaking to the Mail some of Charlton Place's residents, which include a doctor, Royal Ballet conductor, professional opera singer, writer and other medical professionals, have hit out at the plans, one resident calling it the council's "woke vanity project".

Trevor Turner, a 74-year-old doctor who lives on the road, says he is "f***** off" by the plans, specifically losing resident parking spots.

"We asked for more local parking spots for residents, but they didn't give us any," he said. "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."

Another resident said the curved kerb "looks like Disneyland" and is a "waste of money", while her friend suggested it is "not sensible or even practical" and "looks like la-la land now".

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Professional opera singer Susan Daniel, who the Mail says lives in a £2.5 million terraced house, said the restrictions are "inappropriate" and suggested an ANPR camera to catch drivers breaking the rules would be the "beginning of surveillance".

Islington Council defended the "high-quality improvements" and said they will "make the local area greener and healthier for local people and traders".

"The changes will help attract more visitors and bring more footfall to local businesses, which include many unique shops, as well as outdoor markets and cafes," the council said.

"There will be new seating and planting on Charlton Place to create a pleasant, inviting area for local people to sit, rest and chat outside.

"The redesigned carriageway at Charlton Place aims to increase pedestrian safety by reducing the speeds of vehicles approaching the junction with Camden Passage. We consulted local residents and businesses on the proposals last summer, receiving more than 200 responses. We took feedback on board and made changes to the scheme."

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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