Walford Road area proposals

Hackney is a busy, inner-London borough with lots of traffic, much of which comes from other parts of the capital.

The Council recognises the impact that rat-running by cars, vans and trucks has on residential streets. Stopping this, and reclaiming our neighbourhoods for the people that live there, is one of the Council’s priorities.

Doing so promotes walking and cycling, encourages people to be more healthy, and reduces the dominance of the car on those streets.

Walford Road consultation

Update April 2019

Over the past few weeks, officers and councillors have continued to meet residents from Stoke Newington to discuss the Council’s proposed closures in the Walford Road area, which we consulted on between December 2017 and January 2018.

There are differing opinions among residents. People in the immediate vicinity of Walford Road, Brighton Road and Nevill Road are keen to see us proceed as quickly as possible with the proposals, as they would reduce rat-running, reduce the antisocial behaviour and dangerous driving associated with this, and make these roads better for walking and cycling. Other residents are concerned about the impact the proposals would have on air quality in the surrounding area and have asked for an opportunity to comment on the proposals in the light of the air quality modelling that has been undertaken by the Council.

We understand these concerns – it’s one of the reasons we commissioned detailed air quality modelling, the results of which are outlined below. It’s also why, across the whole borough, we’re doing lots of work to tackle poor air quality. In Stoke Newington, we’re: installing green screens at St Mary’s, Grasmere and William Patten Schools and, subject to consultation, introducing School Streets at St Mary’s and William Patten. We’ve also applied for funding from the Mayor of London to investigate introducing a radical scheme to stop polluting traffic travelling through Stoke Newington Church Street.

However, given residents have told us that they want to look at and feed back on the proposals in light of the air quality modelling, the Council’s Cabinet is expected to recommend that further consultation is carried out on option B of the scheme, which, in light of all the up to date information and subject to that further consultation, is currently considered the better of the two options previously put forward for the area.

This will ensure all residents can weigh up the benefits of the proposals for walking and cycling and reduced rat-running in the area, alongside the air quality modelling and measures we’re implementing to tackle poor air quality in Stoke Newington.

Subject to Cabinet approval, we expect a consultation to start in May. While the consultation takes place, we’re increasing the number of parking enforcement officers in the Walford Road area to tackle some of the traffic pressures and related antisocial behaviour issues in the area.

More information about the closures, the measures we are implementing to tackle poor air quality in Stoke Newington and the independent air quality modelling is outlined below.

What happens next?

  • on 29 April, the Council’s Cabinet is expected to approve a further consultation on option B of the original Walford Road scheme
  • subject to Cabinet approval, the new consultation will start in May
  • we will continue to meet residents and schools to ensure they have all the information they need to respond to the consultation
  • we will continue to take into account the impact of TfL’s proposed gyratory, which will increase traffic in the Walford Road area even further if it is implemented
  • we will continue to work with schools and residents to implement measures to mitigate air pollution in Stoke Newington and on Crossway

View the Cabinet report (item 12)

Last year’s consultation

A year ago, we consulted on proposals to reduce traffic around Walford Road, Brighton Road and Nevill Road. The proposals would make these roads better for walking and cycling, in particular on Cycle Superhighway 1.

During the consultation, some residents became concerned about the impact the proposals would have on air quality in the surrounding area, in particular on Stoke Newington Church Street and at schools in the area.

We listened to people’s concerns and asked leading air quality consultants to look at the effect on air quality in the area. We have now published air quality modelling of the proposals on this page, along with the results of last year’s consultation.

Tackling air pollution in the area

In response to people’s concerns, we’re also implementing a number of measures to tackle air pollution in Stoke Newington.

In January, we submitted a bid to the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund (MAQF) for a Low Emissions Neighbourhood in Stoke Newington. The proposals in the bid include improving Stoke Newington for walking and cycling and creating a Zero Emissions Zone, where only buses, zero or ultra low emissions vehicles would be allowed to pass through Stoke Newington Church Street during defined hours. This would not affect access, but would stop polluting traffic travelling through the area during those times.

We have submitted a second bid to the MAQF to extend our Zero Emissions Network, which currently operates in Shoreditch, to Stoke Newington, which would support residents and businesses to reduce their emissions.

We will find out whether the MAQF bids have been approved in April. We will look for other sources of funding for this work if we are not successful.

We’re also:

  • installing green screens at St Mary’s, Grasmere and William Patten Schools to block harmful pollutants, as part of a borough-wide initiative to introduce green boundaries at schools
  • introducing School Streets at St Mary’s and William Patten to encourage children to walk and cycle to school and improve air quality at the school gates
  • moving the school entrance at Grasmere away from Albion Road to reduce children’s exposure to pollution
  • demanding that TfL move the bus stop further away from William Patten, which would improve air quality at the school
  • widening footpaths and planting trees on Crossway to block harmful pollutants  

Tackling London’s poor air quality

We’re doing lots more across the borough to tackle London’s poor air quality.

Walford Road consultation

Between December 2017 and January 2018, we consulted on proposals to reduce traffic around Walford Road, Brighton Road and Nevill Road. The proposals were intended to make these roads better for walking and cycling, in particular on Cycle Superhighway 1, while still allowing residents to access their homes.

This followed concerns from residents and businesses that increased numbers of vehicles are rat-running along residential roads in the Walford Road area. This would be exacerbated if TfL’s planned changes to the Stoke Newington gyratory go ahead.

The proposed closures would be in line with ambitions in our Transport Strategy to make it easier to walk and cycle in the borough and reclaim our neighbourhoods from the cars, vans and trucks that use them as a rat run.

During the consultation, we consulted on two options:

  • option A – permanently closing Barbauld Road at its junction with Albion Road and Allen Road at its junction with Shakespeare Walk
  • option B – permanently closing Nevill Road between Osterley Road and Walford Road; Clonbrock Road at its junction with Nevill Road; and, Allen Road at its junction with Nevill Road

Both options would remove rat-running traffic on Walford Road, Brighton Road and Nevill Road.

Find out more about the proposals

Air quality

In response to residents’ concerns about air quality, we asked Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC), one of the country’s leading independent air quality research organisations, to carry our air quality modelling of the area. This modelling was carried out based on assumptions we agreed with the CleanAir4Schools group about how the proposals would affect traffic.

The results of this modelling do not incorporate the measures we have proposed to improve air quality in the area, TfL’s proposed changes to the Stoke Newington gyratory, which would reduce the amount of traffic and pollution on Stoke Newington Church Street, or the Mayor of London’s upcoming central London Ultra Low Emissions Zone, which would reduce emissions from traffic travelling into central London. The modelling does incorporate some of the improvements TfL are making to the bus fleet in the area, which will be complete later this year.

The results of modelling were compared to national air quality objectives (NAQO), set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Air quality modelling results

The results of the air quality modelling were compared to the following national air quality objectives:

  • particulate matter (PM2.5) – 25 µg/m3 (national target)
  • particulate matter (PM10) – 50 µg/m3 (24 hour mean) not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year
  • particulate matter (PM10) – 40 µg/m3 (annual mean)
  • nitrogen dioxide hourly limit – 200 µg/m3 (1 hour mean) not to be exceeded more than 18 times a year
  • nitrogen dioxide – 40 µg/m3 (annual mean)

Because air quality modelling found that the whole Stoke Newington area met national air quality objectives for particulate matter, and the hourly limit objective for nitrogen dioxide, we concentrated on the more stringent annual mean for nitrogen dioxide, which was met in large parts of the area.

The modelling showed that, if the proposals were implemented:

  • air quality would improve in residential roads around Walford Road (specified below)
  • air quality would improve in large parts of the Stoke Newington area, particularly in a number of residential roads around Walford Road
  • all school playgrounds in the area (William Patten, St Mary’s and Grasmere) would meet national air quality objectives
  • there would be small increases in air pollution at some school facades and along some parts of Stoke Newington Church Street, Albion Road and Crossway

Roads in the Walford Road area

If either option A or B were implemented, air quality would improve in residential roads in the Walford Road area, including Walford Road, Nevill Road, Brighton Road, Beatty Toad, Allen Road, Osterley Road, Milton Grove, Shakespeare Walk and Barbauld Road, with no change over most of the remaining scheme area.

Schools

  • under either proposal, school playgrounds at William Patten, St Mary’s and Grasmere schools would still meet all national air quality objectives
  • nitrogen dioxide pollution (annual mean concentration) would increase at the boundaries or facades of William Patten School (by 0.3% under option A and 1% under option B), St Mary’s School (by 2.2% under option A and 1.5% under option B) and Grasmere School (by 3% under option A and 1% under option B) if the proposals were implemented
  • the measures we are implementing to tackle air pollution in Stoke Newington are aimed at mitigating these predicted increases in pollution
  • at other schools and nurseries in the scheme area air quality would either improve or wouldn’t significantly change if the proposals were implemented

Main roads

  • on parts of Stoke Newington Church Street, nitrogen dioxide pollution (annual mean concentration) at the points CERC modelled would increase by between 0.5% and 1.5% if the proposals were implemented – the measures we are proposing to tackle air pollution in Stoke Newington are aimed at mitigating these potential increases in air pollution
  • air quality on the A10 (Stoke Newington Road and Stoke Newington High Street) would improve along some parts of the road and not change at others, partly as a result of cleaner buses on this road
  • nitrogen dioxide pollution (annual mean concentration) on parts of Crossway would increase by 4.2% under the proposals – we are planting trees and widening the footpath on Crossway, which is aimed at mitigating this potential increase in air pollution
  • nitrogen dioxide pollution (annual mean concentration) on parts of Crossway would increase by 4.2% if the proposals were implemented – we are planting trees and widening the footpath on Crossway, which is aimed at mitigating this predicted increase in air pollution

Air quality maps

We have produced these maps so you can see at the effect the proposals would have on air quality in the area if they were implemented:

  • baseline map – this map shows current nitrogen dioxide concentrations in Stoke Newington
  • option A changes map – this map shows how nitrogen dioxide concentrations would change if Option A were implemented
  • option A concentrations map – this map shows modelled nitrogen dioxide concentrations across the area if Option A were implemented
  • option B changes map – this map shows how nitrogen dioxide concentrations would change if Option B were implemented
  • option B concentration map – this map shows modelled nitrogen dioxide concentrations across the area if Option B were implemented

View the modelled impact of the proposals on air quality at specific locations in the area if they were implemented.

Full air quality report

View the full air quality reports from CERC here:

Consultation results

There were 2,231 responses to the consultation:

  • 616 (28%) people supported option A, with 1363 (61%) opposed and 252 (11%) neither supported nor opposed
  • 852 (38%) of people supported option B, 1185 (53%) opposed and 194 (9%) neither supported nor opposed

A significant proportion of the responses raised potential air quality impacts as a reason for opposing the schemes. As set out above, the Council asked CERC to carry out air quality modelling in response to these concerns. Residents can view the results of the modelling on this page.

Page updated on: 25 June 2019