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Cars to be banned from Stoke Newington Church Street

Cars,vans and lorries are to be banned from one of north London’s hippest high streets during the day in an ambitious scheme to improve air quality and road safety.

The 7am-7pm seven-day restrictions will be introduced in Stoke Newington Church Street from September 20 in a bid to encourage walking and cycling, Hackney council has announced.

Only buses, emergency vehicles and cars registered to blue badge holders will be permitted to pass through a “bus gate” near the Red Lion pub. Drivers ignoring the new rules face being caught on CCTV and being sent a penalty fine.

The Transport for London-funded scheme, which is to be trialled for 18 months, five low-traffic neighbourhoods will be introduced on either side of Church Street and five 24-hour filters will deter motorists from rat-running through residential areas.

Motorists breaching the restrictions would receive a £130 fine, reduced to £65 if paid within a fortnight, advanced warning signs have said to be placed on every approach to the bus gate on Church Street so drivers were aware of the closure and could avoid a ticket. Alternative routes will be signposted. The restrictions apply to both eastbound and westbound traffic.

Mete Coban, Hackney’s cabinet member for transport, said the aim was to rebuild a greener borough in the wake of the pandemic and encourage local trade.

About 40 per cent of traffic in Hackney drives through without stopping, the council said. Residents had complained for years about traffic levels and poor air quality.

Mr Coban said: “Now it’s time to stop kicking the can down the road. Tackling the climate crisis starts local.”

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