This month (December) delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference pledged to match their words with action to combat climate change.
Recognising that climate change is one of the biggest threats to the planet and residents’ way of life, Newham Council is launching a wide-ranging review of our roads and streets that will address not just the needs of the people who live here and road users, but also the environment.
As part of the review the council wants motorists, businesses, community groups, families, residents with caring responsibilities, those with disabilities, cyclists and pedestrians to have conversations with each other – at two special events and in an inter-active survey - so that, armed with a wide range of opinions, the council can make more informed decisions about what happens next.
These conversations will take place within the framework of the council’s commitment to the Mayor of London’s sustainable transport strategy for the capital; its promise to deal with traffic congestion that has an adverse impact on air quality and the health of residents. But, crucially, also within a framework of creating fairer and more consistent parking arrangements for everyone.
Roads and streets are not just how residents get from one part of the borough to the next, but are places in their own right. They are a key feature of local neighbourhoods where residents do business and socialise, where children play, and where people exercise and celebrate.
Newham Council wants to enhance all aspects of public space to balance local needs for a cleaner, safe and more accessible local environment, that meets the aspiration of all.
Parking is an important part of this, and is an issue regularly raised among residents’ top concerns. It’s been a key issue raised at the Citizens’ Assemblies held across the borough since September including how frustrating the Residents Parking Zones (RPZs) are; how the increase in road traffic is affecting air quality and the impact this has on health and well-being.
Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, cabinet member for highways and sustainable transport said: said: “What’s clear is that there are differing perspectives and opinions. That’s why the council is inviting ideas and suggestions on what a fair parking scheme could look like for everyone.
“We want residents to have these conversations with each other in their community, understanding what different people feel is important, discussing the ideas and suggestions that you may have on what fair parking could look like for all of us in Newham.
“As a council we need to make certain we are listening to everyone’s point of view and that we are building places that are safe, healthy and accessible for all. The design of our road and street space must encourage active travel, tackle air pollution, contribute to resident’s health and wellbeing, and make it easier to get around on public transport, whilst also supporting our local businesses.”
In the New Year the council will be holding two special events to focus and engage with residents and different road user groups about the condition of our roads, the quality of our air – and the options around parking.