Thursday, 10 February 2011

Parking, fairness & health - will the Council join the dots?

For a Council engaged in a Fairness commission, Islington is doing a strange job of ignoring the impact of its policies on health inequality.  Last Aug, prompted by the revelation that Islington has the sixth worst air quality in London, Islington Green Party encouraged residents to respond to the Mayor's consultation on Transport policy, telling him to maintain policies that decrease car use.

The Islington Gazette has just woken up to the impact of vehicle emissions related poor air quality in Islington - front page today and has made the link with the destructive new council parking schemes to increase the number of short trips by car in the borough.  Reducing the number of cars on our densely congested roads creates a safer more pleasant street-scape, encourages walking & cycling and reduces the pollution in the air we are breathing.

The Council's Fairness Commission is meeting next week to discuss health inequality, but the discussion is confined to smoking, mental health and diet.  By avoiding the elephants in the room that are increased car use, poor air quality and more sedentary lifestyles, the Commission is missing a whole raft of ways that the Council could support residents' health.  Cancelling the residents' Roamer Parking scheme and the scheme for unlimited visitor parking vouchers would be an easy step to support residents to incorporate more active travel into their daily lives and to improve the quality of the air we breathe.

No comments:

Post a comment