New campaign: Unite the Fields

The Highbury Crescent road dividing the two sections of Highbury Fields has been closed to traffic since 2014. Initially it was used as a construction compound for the rebuilding works at Highbury Corner. In 2020, Islington Council agreed to reopen the road to pedestrians and cyclists only, under temporary rules.

This has enabled children to cross the road safely, and to scoot, cycle or play in the road.

We now have the opportunity to make this permanent, and to rethink how the space could be better used – whether for nature, play, exercise, or something else.

We expect the council to launch a consultation on the future of the road this summer. Our campaign will encourage a strong and imaginative response, with the aim to Unite the Fields!

Follow the campaign:
Twitter: @unitethefields
Instagram: @unitethefields

Let’s avoid congestion and pollution on the school run

As we return to the daily school routine, Islington Clean Air Parents are joining Transport for London, Islington Council and the Mayor of London in encouraging people to walk, cycle or scoot to and from school. 

We know it’s not always easy, especially when it’s wet, you’re running late, or your kids are refusing to walk (we’ve been there!). But once you make it into a habit, it’s a great way to get some exercise, and to notice more of the people and goings-on of your local neighbourhood.

Here are our tips on how to make getting to school as fun and stress-free as possible: 

  • Take a slightly different route each day, and let your child choose
  • Look out for flowers and other signs of Spring
  • When COVID rules allow, arrange to meet up with your child’s class friends en-route so they can walk together
  • Let your child scoot or cycle, and talk to your school about a safe place to park them

For those who need to drive, remember not to park on the zigzags outside the school gate, and to turn your engine off whilst stopped. The pollution from an idling car, especially when immediately outside a school, from an exhaust at child height, can contribute towards childhood asthma and lung disease.

We are also supporting the introduction of people friendly streets (reducing through traffic) and timed road closures outside schools, to make it safer and nicer to get to school by walking, cycling or scooting.

Stay safe – we hope your children enjoy their return to school!

Islington Clean Air Parents is a growing network of concerned people who want urgent action so that children can breath clean air.

Sign up to our mailing list for more news on our campaigns and to get involved with making change.

Leave your tips and suggestions for a safe and active school run in the comments below.

Call to Action! Green Heart campaign


Islington Clean Air Parents and other local groups have been campaigning for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) see our article here

In 2020, local residents all over Islington came together to support the Council’s positive action to create Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, aka People Friendly Streets.  We are supporting the move to reduce traffic and transform our streets into spaces that children can enjoy, where they feel safe and most importantly can breathe cleaner air. 

ICAP and our members have proudly supported and joined with local residents to get local low traffic neighbourhood campaign groups up and running, and we continue to be active supporters. These neighbourhood groups now have informative websites, thousands of members and Twitter followers. The numbers have grown so much that we are delighted to announce the neighbourhood groups have come together under one umbrella as Low Traffic Islington

Your call to Action:

If you want less traffic on your street join us and thousands of others as we show our love for a #lowtrafficislington with a Green Heart 💚

The idea is to have as many Green Heart posters as possible in windows all across Islington to show the enormous number of people who want a low traffic Islington, with cleaner, healthier and safer streets.

Please print off a green heart 💚 and put it in your window. For all budding artists there’s one to colour in – let your children get creative!

[Outline Heart to Colour In]

[Green Heart on Blue Background]

[Green Heart on White Background]

Please take photos of windows with Green Hearts in them and share on social media with the location using #lowtrafficislington and the green heart 💚

e.g. “Green Heart spotted in Offord Road 💚 #lowtrafficislington

Finally, please share this with your network of: friends; neighbours; parent groups and, especially, schools -after all, schools are at the ‘heart’ of our community.

Thank you for your support.

If you’re not already a member please sign up to our mailing list. If you would like to get more involved or have a clean air issue you would like to campaign for please email

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods


Islington Clean Air Parents are campaigning to reduce harmful levels of air pollution that are damaging our children’s health. Motor vehicles are not the only source but they account for 50% of air pollution in Islington.  Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are one of a number of measures that can effectively reduce traffic on minor roads and subsequently traffic overall, and create space for walking and cycling which improves air quality.

In 2019 Islington Borough Council “committed to improve all residential areas in Islington to create a healthy, fair, accessible and enjoyable environment, and to enable local people to walk and cycle safely.” Part of this plan was to introduce low traffic neighbourhoods, in Islington they are called People Friendly Streets.

We are a completely independent and voluntary campaigning group but we are supporting the council’s People Friendly Streets scheme because we recognise that low traffic improves air quality and makes streets healthier for our children.

What is a low traffic neighbourhood?

A low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) is an area which are closed off to through traffic (except existing bus routes and emergency vehicles), so that you can drive in and out of the area, but can’t drive through it. All homes remain accessible by vehicle, but the layout stops people using minor roads as short cuts and makes it safer and easier to walk and cycle.

Why do we need low traffic neighbourhoods?

Research from around the world shows that LTNs reduce traffic in minor roads, enable residents to walk and cycle, and reduce air pollution, road danger, congestion and obesity.

We visited London’s first LTN scheme, ‘Mini-Holland’ in Waltham Forest. See the account of our visit here.  The scheme has been very successful in reducing air pollution. A Kings College study shows compared with 2013, changes to road infrastructure in Waltham Forest will reduce exposure to NO2 by 25% and by 13% for particulate matter by 2020.

We can all benefit from low traffic neighbourhoods. We love this clear and informative leaflet which explains all.

The council have rapidly increased the implementation of LTNs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid has impacted the space we use to get around and there has been a massive reduction in public transport capacity to enable social distancing. If people choose to take to their cars as an alternative, it is estimated that traffic in Islington would double, creating a huge increase in congestion and air pollution.

The Government issued a statutory guide which required all local authorities to reallocate space to encourage cycling and walking and create space for social distancing. Many local authorities, including Islington and TFL have been rapidly changing street space across the capital to enable active travel.   More details about Islington Council’s People Friendly Streets are on their FAQ page.

What is the consultation process?

A formal public consultation process will follow 12 -18 months after the scheme goes in, but you can show your support now by adding comments to the Common Place Map or by completing online surveys here, if you live or work in Islington you can complete them it only takes a few minutes but is really helpful.  These are only temporary schemes at the moment so it is very important to show your support now and during the consultation period to make sure we get to keep them and continue to improve air quality.

What have ICAP been doing?

ICAP have been working with our members, local residents and other community campaigning groups to discuss local traffic issues and feedback to the council.  

  • We began by holding a number of Zoom meetings with local residents in Barnsbury, St Mary’s, Finsbury, Bunhill, Clerkenwell and St Georges Wards.
  • We helped set up and support local low traffic neighbourhood groups.
  • We have collaborated with other community groups to hold events in St Peter’s and Canonbury to celebrate the introduction of their LTNs.
  • We have been actively raising awareness and engaging in discussion on Twitter, Nextdoor and writing to the local press.

How do I campaign for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood?

  • Get involved in your local LTN group. If there isn’t one, start your own! We can offer support, share our experience and help get you up and running.
  • Go out with your family and enjoy the LTNs already implemented so that you can see for yourself what LTNs are really like.
  • Contact your ward councillors who are keen to hear from residents. You can also attend ward partnership meetings. More information can be found here

Here is a list of local LTN groups in Islington so far, more to come:

Spread the word! We simply need to drive less and make the streets safer and air cleaner for all of us, especially our children.


Waltham Forest Air Quality

If you’re not already a member please sign up. If you would like to get more involved or have a clean air issue you would like to campaign for please email

Clean Air Toolkit for Schools Launch Event

Islington Clean Air Parents is proud to launch a new Clean Air Toolkit for Schools in collaboration with Islington Council.

One of the starting points for many of our members was noticing air pollution in and around our children’s school or nursery. However it can be daunting to learn how to take action and make the improvements our children deserve.

This is why Islington Clean Air Parents campaigned for a clean air toolkit for schools. The toolkit makes it easy for parents to find out the best action to take and how. Book your free ticket to the launch event and learn how to fast forward your campaign for clean air, reduce toxic air pollution and improve the environment at your school.

Launch event on Zoom

  • Introduction from Islington Clean Air Parents
  • Guest speaker Rowena Champion, Islington Council, Executive Councillor for the Environment
  • Hear from other parents who have taken action to clean up air pollution at their child’s school or nursery
  • Learn how to access and use Islington’s clean air toolkit
  • Helpful information: Frequently Asked Questions
  • Ask your questions, connect and meet other parents

Book now

The toolkit has been created by parents in Islington who have been tackling these issues over the past few years and includes the range of measures that can be taken to improve air quality. The toolkit will help you discuss air pollution issues with your school and decide which measures will be most effective.

Get inspiration from other parents and hear how they have successfully worked with their children’s school to take action. We’ll be joined by Islington Council who will be able to answer your questions. Plus we’ll share a useful list of Frequently Asked Questions including useful links to the council and other organisations.

Book your free ticket here to our live 1 hour Zoom event

7.30pm, 28th January, 2021

Anti-idling Poster Campaign

Our new poster campaign, designed in collaboration with Islington Council, is aimed at encouraging drivers to switch off their engines. If you have experienced problems on your walk to school with air pollution from parked cars running their engines, then please join us in taking positive action to change it by taking part in our anti-idling poster campaign.

Help reduce air pollution in your neighbourhood

Islington council has agreed for members of Islington Clean Air Parents to put up posters on lampposts near schools and parks where we see idling problems. The poster has been designed with the council which they have printed.   

Parents in Islington have been putting up posters near their children’s school and playgrounds.

How to Get Involved

It’s easy to get involved and put posters up in your neighbourhood. Start by identifying the names of the roads near your children’s school, nursery or park where you notice cars idling. 

Please email us with the following details:
– List of streets you’d like to put posters up in.
– The quantity of posters you’d like for each street
– Name of nearby school, nursery or park
– An address where we can deliver your posters to (this will be used for this purpose only and not retained for any other use)

The council has asked each of us putting up posters to keep an eye on them and take the posters down or replace them if they get damaged. This will help keep the campaign looking current and be more effective.

Take Action

If you’d like to get involved, please join Islington Clean Air Parents and email us with the details above.

Islington’s People Friendly Streets offer hope for disabled parent

Lucy Facer meets Islington parent and mobility scooter user Carly Ashdown to find out what impact People Friendly Streets will have on the school run.

Islington Council announced the implementation of People Friendly Streets (the council’s brand for low traffic neighbourhoods) across half of the borough by March 2021. They will have a significant impact in reducing traffic, creating safer roads and improving air quality across the borough.

When I met Carly at the corner of Liverpool Road and Islington Park Street, she had just experienced an abusive situation with a car driver. In fact, it was so recent she pointed out the driver who was still at the traffic lights. Carly’s story is shocking.

‘I’ve just been dealing with another road rage situation” she told me, “beeping, shouting, I get all kinds of abuse from drivers.”

Carly is an Islington resident, an established artist and mother to a six year old who attends school in Barnsbury. Like the majority of disabled people, Carly doesn’t drive a car but she has a mobility scooter that enables her travel. She picks up her son from school every day, skillfully navigating local streets.

“At least once a day, drivers beep or shout at me, but it can be as many as five times a day. It’s quite upsetting. Sometimes I wear a pollution mask or headphones to help me block out the abuse – it helps me cope.”

The worst roads are the busiest ones: Holloway Road, Liverpool Road, Upper Street, but none are good. Cycle lanes make it relatively better for Carly. Mobility scooters have a legal right to use the road, but drivers make Carly feel unwelcome. They make her feel as though she is an inconvenience on the road.

“It’s not safe, the roads are really quite dangerous. Cars overtake me on blind corners as they can’t wait – my top speed is only 14 kilometres per hour. They often behave as though I shouldn’t be on the road.”

The law also allows Carly to use her mobility scooter on the pavement. “But I can’t go faster than 4 kph on the pavement and there are often obstacles in my way. I always travel on the pavement when I have my son with me as I would fear for his safety on the roads”

However the pavements aren’t always easy to navigate. As we walk towards her son’s school, the pathway is blocked. A workman has put up a temporary fence. Pedestrians can easily pass but there’s not enough room for the mobility scooter. Carly calls out to him and he quickly moves it allow her to pass, but these things pop up all the time. It may be a tree stump causing a pavement to rise up or a lack of dropped curbs but essentially, she feels there is no place for her.

“It’s like choosing between a rock and a hard place – whether to go on the pavement or road.”

Driving around during lockdown gave Carly respite from abusive drivers. “The roads were much safer, there was much less traffic which made it much easier to drive on the roads.”

I asked Carly what she thought of Islington Council’s plans to create People Friendly Streets.

“It will make it much easier for me to travel around, the roads are much safer when they are closed off to through traffic. I can easily navigate the filters and my journey becomes much less stressful. The more space there is, the less abuse I receive.”

Over half of air pollution in Islington is created by traffic and this has the most significant impact on vulnerable groups including children.

“As far as I’m concerned they will be a win-win, People Friendly Streets will mean safer roads and less air pollution for us all.”

People Friendly Streets will be life-changing for Carly. They will improve her access and her ability to travel around the borough safely. Her advice to anyone with a disabled relative – low traffic neighbourhoods will significantly improve their lives, safety and mobility.

17 July 2020: Carlys story features in the Islington Tribune

How to campaign for a School Street in Islington

School Street schemes close school roads for pedestrian and cycling access only during pick up and drop off. They are proving to be hugely successful in creating a safer environment for children to walk, cycle and scoot, free from traffic. This significantly reduces air pollution caused by traffic, increases road safety and enables social distancing. Islington Council will have implemented 39 School Streets across the borough by December 2020.

The Gower School before and after a School Street was implemented in September 2020.

If your school is one of the remaining schools in Islington currently without a school street here is how you can campaign for one:


  • Speak to other parents at your school and create a group. Four or five parents is a good start. Email your head teacher to ask for their support.
  • Individual emails are better than a joint one.
  • Create a WhatsApp group for communication
  • Take photos and videos of traffic problems as evidence
  • Email Islington Council:
  • Mums for Lungs has created a template letter you can use, download this template letter here. Address it to your head teacher, local ward councillors and Islington Council asking for action to be taken.
  • With parents and headteachers support, it is easier for Islington Council to implement new School Streets schemes.
  • Watch this video of our meeting with a presentation from Jemima Vivien, founder of Mums for Lungs for more tips and ideas.

We believe all schools in Islington should have a School Street scheme. They are vital to protect our children’s health. School Streets reduce our children’s exposure to air pollution from cars which recent scientific studies suggest is likely to increase the susceptibility to suffer from Covid-19 and reduce the ability to fight the infection. They also enable social distancing at drop off and pick up during the pandemic.

In addition, parents report that where Schools Streets have been implemented they create a positive, stress-free environment for children as they arrive at school and leave.

Islington schools currently included in the School Street scheme:

Ambler primary school
Ashmount primary school
Drayton Park school
Duncombe primary school
Hanover primary school
Hugh Myddelton primary school
Moreland Primary School
Rotherfield primary school
St John Evangelist
St Marks primary school
St Peter and St Paul Catholic Primary School
Winton primary school
Yerbury primary school

A further 26 schools will have school streets by December 2020.

Blessed Sacrament Primary School, The Children’s Upper House School, Copenhagen Primary School, Dania School, Gillespie Primary School, The Gower School, Grafton Primary School, Hargrave Park Primary School, Highbury Quadrant Primary School, Hungerford Primary School, Laycock Primary School, New North Academy, New River College Primary & The Bridge School, Pooles Park Primary School, Prior Weston Primary School and Children’s Centre, Sacred Heart Primary School, St Andrew’s (Barnsbury) CofE Primary School, St John’s Highbury Vale CofE Primary School, St Jude and St Paul’s CofE Primary School, St Mary Magdalene Academy, St Mary’s CofE Primary School, St Paul’s Steiner School, Thornhill Primary School, Tufnell Park Primary School, Vittoria Primary School and Whitehall Park School.

For live, or recently ended consultations on School streets, please follow this link:

If your school has not yet got a school street, now it the time to put some pressure on ensuring it will be included in the accelerated scheme.

Join Islington Clean Air Parents to meet other parents concerned about air pollution, find out how you can help reduce air pollution in Islington and the effect it has on your family’s health.

Thanks to MumsforLungs for providing and sharing this template.

We Need Clean Air Now, Islington Town Hall 25th November 2019

On the 25th November ICAP held a meeting at Islington Hall on air pollution. We organised the event for a number of reasons. We wanted to use the event to educate Islington residents about the effects of air pollution on their health, to grow our membership and to demonstrate to councillors and those in power, how important air quality is, and how much the people of Islington care about it. Over 80 people attended the evening which consisted of a panel of speakers, including experts and campaigners, followed by a hustings. 

During the hustings Richard Watts, who stood in for Jeremy Corbyn, made some exciting promises and statements, including informing us that he wants Low Traffic Neighborhoods in Islington and stating that parking in Islington needs to go down.

On our panel we had Ian Mudway from KCL, who has conducted some of the most important studies on air pollution. He talked about how we imagine air to be infinite and that we think that what we put into the air disappears, but this is not the case. In fact air is finite, pollution stays in the atmosphere and does not simply disappear.  He compared air to water, we wouldn’t drink dirty water, so why do we accept dirty air? 

We had Aarash Saleh, a respiratory doctor who told us that he sees an increase in admissions on days when air pollution is high, and that he cannot always prescribe patients the fresh air and exercise they need, as the air they live with is not safe to breathe. 

We heard from Claire McDonald from Mums for Lungs who spoke about school streets and how to close the streets around your child’s school in order to improve air quality on the school run.

David Smith of Little Ninja, told us about his anti-idling campaign. His petition calls for a change in the law so that all vehicle owners are given information about the impact of idling on health, air pollution, climate change and a clear warning that if their vehicle is caught idling when parked they will receive an instant fine.  He regularly speaks to children as well as adults. Children, he said, instantly understand his campaign as, being much closer to the level of the exhaust pipe, they deal with the problem on a daily basis.

Our most moving speaker of the evening was Rosamund Adoo Kissi Deborah who lost her daughter, Ella, to a fatal asthma attack. She has been told her daughter would still be alive today if it were not for air pollution. She is now campaigning to get air pollution registered as the cause of her daughter’s death. If she is successful, the new ruling will be a game-changer: levels of nitrogen dioxide have been illegally high since 2010 in the vast majority of UK urban areas. The state will have to take responsibility for its failure to comply with its duties under article two of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to life.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: Our Visit to Waltham Forest

On Friday the 1st November, ICAP members visited Waltham Forest in order to experience first hand how Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have transformed streets and communities in the borough. The tour was lead by Councillor Loakes, who spearheaded the project, and it was fascinating to hear how he overcame challenges and opposition in order to make his vision of peaceful, clean, healthy and safe living streets a reality.

Upon arrival we were immediately struck by how quiet the streets were; how children could scoot and bike in the road and how were weren’t confined to the side-walk as we chatted to Councillor Loakes and Paul Gasson, who worked hard with community groups to get locals on board and engaged with the project.

Much of what we heard surpurprised us. We discovered that, although the borough received substantial funding from TFL (27 million), and had also accessed 17 million in funding from other sources, much of the most transformative aspects of the project were very cheap.

Walthestow’s beautifully quiet and peaceful residential streets have been achieved through modal filtering. Various forms of road blocks are used to block through access to vehicles other than bikes and scooters.This can take the form of planters, concrete bollards or metal poles that can be lowered to allow access to the emergency services, and are not expensive to install. Some cost as little as 20k or less, although thus did not include the cost of planning and consultations.

So where did the bulk of the funding go? A large portion of the money received was spent on improving conditions on the main roads, widening pavements and installing a 17 million pound cycle superhighway.

In addition, Waltham Forest invested in a number of measures to make active travel easier and more convenient than driving. This includes cycle training; bike hangers; safer crossings; seating, trees and planters and dropped pavements for disabled access.

The council faced considerable opposition to the scheme. At one point 500 demonstrators gathered outside the town hall to voice their dissent. Despite this, Councillor Loakes and his team remained committed to their vision and refused to let this stop them. 

Community leaders like Paul Gasson were vital to the success of the project. They had the trust and the relationships within the community that enabled them to have the difficult conversations with people and put their minds at ease. None of the concerns raised have proved to be a problem now that the LTN is in place. Councillor Loakes has even had residents approach him to thank him for not letting their concerns prevent him from implementing the scheme.

LTNs have transformed Walthamstow in numerous ways. People are walking and cycling more and as a result public health has improved. Children play outside in the streets and adults chat to their friends and neighbours. As a result, people are less isolated and community cohesion had improved. One passer by remarked that it takes him ages to get anywhere as he is constantly bumping into friends and neighbours. Air pollution has reduced, businesses have benefited from passing trade and fire response times have improved.

Traffic in Walthamstow has not been pushed into main or neighbouring roads. It has evaporated. As driving became more difficult, people drove less. Some streets have seen 90% reductions in motor traffic and there had been a 56% average reduction. Even on main roads traffic is slightly 

reduced. Research by KCL also found that more than 51,000 households in Waltham Forest are no longer living in areas with dangerously high levels of air pollution compared to a decade ago.

The success of this scheme can be attributed, on the one hand, to the political will and courage of Councillor Loakes and his team, to overcome obstacles and turn their vision into a blissful reality, and on the other hand to engagement of community groups that supported it through the grass roots. Hands up who wants this in Islington?