One thousand extra pedestrians are walking in Stoke Newington Church Street every day - thanks to new traffic restrictions that have seen the number of cars using the road fall by 60%.
A bus gate was installed under an experimental traffic order last September, to reduce the number of cars using the trendy Hackney high street and surrounding area between 7am and 7pm.
Hackney Council says the ‘low traffic neighbourhood’ scheme has seen walking and cycling surge between those times, with cycling up 38% and pedestrian numbers up 16%.
Analysis shows traffic levels have fallen significantly in Church Street - by 60% between 7am and 7pm, and by 53% over 24 hours - as well as other roads inside the scheme, and on some boundary roads.
Over 24 hours there were fewer motor vehicles on Lordship Park (-8.3%) and at the A10 at its junction with Walford Road (-3.9%) - both boundary roads - in September 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.
Meanwhile the other boundary road with a live traffic monitor, Green Lanes, saw an increase in traffic of 7.5%.
Comparing a fortnight in September with the same period last year, figures showed the number of pedestrians in Church Street rose by an average of more than 1,000 a day, from an average of 6,359 a day in September 2021 to 7,373 a day in September 2022.
The number of bikes between 7am and 7pm has increased by more than one third, from 1,711 in 2021 to 2,362 in 2022.
Hackney councillor Mete Coban MBE, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, heralded the “fantastic” news, which he says is showing promise of reducing pollution.
“It’s fantastic news that the Stoke Newington low traffic neighbourhood is helping more people to walk and cycle, and spend more time on their local high street - showing the incredible potential of low traffic neighbourhoods to transform an area, help people lead healthier lives and tackle the climate emergency,” he said.
“There are also really encouraging signs that this low traffic neighbourhood is reducing traffic and pollution inside the area and on boundary roads - though we are continuing to monitor this so we can take action where it’s needed.”