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Sunday, 26 August, 2001, 23:49 GMT 00:49 UK
Pedestrian power takes to the capital
Road traffic
Roads are becoming 'traffic corridors' which alienate communities
A London street is to be turned into a traffic-free zone on Monday to alert politicians and town planners to the needs of pedestrians.

It is the centrepiece of a campaign to save streets from "death by traffic and squalor" masterminded by the Pedestrians' Association.

The organisation claims councils are overlooking people's needs in favour of cars and drivers, turning streets into traffic corridors which alienate and divide local communities.

The association, which is publishing a 10-point manifesto to launch the Living Streets campaign, will banish cars from a road in Hackney, east London, to make their point.

Villages are cut in half by traffic ... streets should be an integral part of local life

Ben Plowden, Pedestrians' Association
Local people will enjoy breakfast in the street while children play skittles and attempt moves on a giant chess board.

The association wants to create streets where people can meet and walk in comfort and ease.

Campaign organiser Ben Plowden said: "Streets should be an integral part of local life.

"We need to reduce traffic danger and create well-kept public spaces.

'User friendly' streets

"All communities are affected.

"Villages are cut in half by traffic. Town centres are all too often empty and threatening after dark. City streets are full of rubbish and overshadowed by the fear of crime."

The manifesto calls for "a radical re-classification" of Britain's roads to take account of walking, shopping, playing and socialising.

With a new classification, the Highways Agency and local planners would audit and re-design streets to reflect many different social functions and needs.

The association points out that examples of user-friendly streets already exist in Britain, including a revitalisation of Birmingham city centre, 20mph speed limits in Hull and a project in Camden, north London.

See also:

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