Just days left to have your say

Residents have just days to speak out against harmful road closures that will increase traffic and pollution at seven schools and seven nurseries.

If it goes ahead, Hackney Council's Walford Road closure scheme will tip three schools over the legal pollution limit, according to data contained in their CERC Air Quality and Traffic Model into the impacts of the scheme.

Among the schools set for more pollution are St Mary's, William Patten, Grasmere, Princess May, Stoke Newington School and Newington Green Primary and St Matthias.

The nurseries set for more pollution include Coconut, N16 Tots, N is for Nursery, Monkey Puzzle, William Patten Daycare, The Factory Children's Centre and Beatty Nursery.

Thousands of residents living on Albion Road, Crossway, Stoke Newington Church Street and Matthias Road will have to put up with significant worsening in air quality outside their homes.

Pollution levels on Walford, Beatty and Brighton Roads are much safer - they're well below the legal limit.

A spokesperson for campaign group CleanAir4Schools said: "The harm these road closures will cause thousands of people, including our most vulnerable residents, is disproportionate to the benefits they'll bring for a small number of residents.

"Given other measures have been put forward to solve the problems experienced by Walford Road residents without having such harmful consequences on vulnerable children, these road closures are completely irrational."

CleanAir4Schools has urged Hackney Council to consider timed-road closures at night instead so traffic isn't displaced past schools and nurseries during the day. They've also suggested creating one-way streets with traffic calming so vehicles don't come face to face.

In a letter to the Council’s legal team, leading London law firm Baker McKenzie highlights numerous deficiencies in the consultation document, which was sent to thousands of local homes.

They include an error about how many cars will be displaced to Stoke Newington Church St if the closures go ahead, a false claim that pollution at St Mary’s and Grasmere will meet air quality objectives, and the inclusion of accident data in and around Walford Road but not for streets which will have traffic increases.

Matt Petzny, a member of the CleanAir4Schoosl group, said: “The impacts of this scheme are serious: it’s about road safety and harmful levels of pollution which can affect child health. For people to be able to make an informed and rational decision, Hackney needs to be honest about the impacts its intervention will have – namely more pollution and a higher risk of collisions outside seven schools and seven nurseries, tipping some over legal pollution limits.

“Accidents are commonplace on Albion Road, Crossway and Stoke Newington Church Street too – they’re home to thousands of residents and are heavily used by families walking young children to school and to the park. Yet the consultation didn’t include accident statistics for these streets. The consultation document is grossly misleading and lacking balance.”

To respond to the consultation, visit https://consultation.hackney.gov.uk/streetscene/walford-road-area/consultation/intro/

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