COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROJECT – ILFORD
The London borough of Redbridge is looking to make big changes to the road network in Ilford town centre.
In the 60s and 70s, the London Borough of Redbridge was reconfigured for car travel. Redbridge Borough Council are now keen to improve the environment for residents who choose to walk and cycle, as this improves the environment for everyone and allows for more walking, resting, meeting and congregating.
The council set out a vision to ensure an attractive, liveable and convenient town centre for Ilford. This will help turn Ilford’s highways into streets, reducing the impact of vehicles and better connecting surrounding neighbourhoods for people walking and cycling.
LB Redbridge commissioned our team of community engagement and technical specialists to engage with a wide range of community stakeholders including residents, business owners, elected members and local authority officers, to carry out Community Street Audits and produce recommendations to help inform the scheme design. Our engagement work supported the design process by providing an understanding of the barriers faced by people walking; and made specific recommendations to overcome them.
REDBRIDGE COUNCIL'S VISION INCLUDES...
- redesign of the gyratory
- reduction of through traffic
- regeneration of the “island” site which is currently isolated by the gyratory
- enlargement of Ilford station and connection of the Elizabeth Line
- cultural and artists quarter
- improvements to the pedestrian environment, safer crossings and cycle routes
- renewed central shopping area
- construction of residential tower blocks
WE HIT OUR TARGETS!
Our Community Street Audits (CSAs) are a way of effectively involving community stakeholders in the process of evaluating the quality of the walking environment. They explore the environment from the viewpoint of the people who use it, not just those who manage it. CSAs provide recommendations to overcome physical and emotional barriers to walking for everyday journeys; and to feed into schemes to ensure places are fit for walking.
We completed 202 surveys and eight CSAs, allowing us to make recommendations to Redbridge Borough Council.
Our engagement work asked those who travel on foot or by bicycle how the roads served them. The impact of traffic, noise, pollution, dangerous crossings, inconvenient routes and poor signage were all highlighted.
The maintenance and quality of the public realm was also highlighted – the lack of greenery, poor lighting, the litter, neglect and street clutter of some areas, creating unattractive spaces.
25% people of those surveyed specifically mentioned concerns about feeling safe or anti-social behaviour when walking around Ilford. The feedback illustrated clear themes regarding key locations where people felt unsafe, either due to traffic or due to a risk of being a victim of crime.
Overall, there was a desire to improve the public areas around Ilford. Greenery, attractive artworks, colour and good lighting could all play their part. Introducing more human activity and repurposing some areas such as the underpasses, could transform the space from threatening to welcoming. As these areas are safe from traffic, they have the potential to be a place for people to play, meet, eat, relax and not just an area to pass through.
Residents provided ideas and suggestions through the surveys and many expressed a willingness to play their part in the changes. With the wealth of information we collected, resident concerns and priorities are clear and can help redirect council resources to where they are needed.
Our work with Redbridge Council will help bring about big changes for walking around the Ilford Western Gyratory area and will be a key step in making Ilford a place which supports those walking, living in and visiting the town.