Barnet lagging behind other boroughs on sustainable transport

Analysis puts Barnet near bottom of London league table
By Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

photo by Roman Koester on Unsplash
photo by Roman Koester on Unsplash

Barnet has performed poorly when it comes to efforts to boost walking and cycling, according to an analysis of new data. 

A coalition of green and sustainable transport groups has ranked Barnet among the bottom third of London boroughs on a scorecard designed to measure the health of the city’s streets. 

Only 1% of Barnet’s road network is covered by protected cycle tracks, and no new low-traffic neighbourhoods have been rolled out since last year, the scorecard highlights. And with fewer than 5% of its roads covered by 20mph zones, Barnet has the joint-lowest score on this measure.

The London Healthy Streets Scorecard Coalition, which came up with the rankings, acknowledges that Barnet Council has introduced a number of ‘school streets’, which restrict traffic around schools at arrival and departure times, during the past year.

But it says action is still “desperately needed” to improve the health of Barnet’s streets, with the borough remaining “one of the least safe places for pedestrians and cyclists”. 

The coalition describes the introduction of 20mph borough-wide speed limits and the roll-out of controlled parking as the biggest priorities for Barnet.

Islington was named as the top-scoring borough by the coalition, followed by Hackney and Camden.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “The council is committed to ensuring the borough’s transport network contributes to the health and prosperity of Barnet. As well as a great deal of work already underway or completed, the council has set out its long-term vision, having agreed an ambitious strategy for transport between 2020 and 2041.

“This includes giving residents a choice of active, sustainable and efficient modes of transport. Encouraging shifts in modes of transport such as walking and cycling through new infrastructure and behavioural change, initiatives around healthier routes to school, and work to continually improve road safety and air quality.

“Last year the council completed work to more than three kilometres of cycle lane in the areas of Finchley and Golders Green, behavioural change activities are already being provided such as free cycle training, and since 2014 we have invested more than £40million into pavement and road improvements across the borough.”

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