The Healthy Streets Scorecard is out. Every year, the HSS team grades all London councils on how they manage their streets to improve Londoners’ health. How are Camden and Haringey shaping up?

Camden has the third highest overall score of any borough, doing particularly well on the proportion of streets with protected cycle tracks (8%) and schools with School Streets (28%). It has low car ownership, and 20% of its streets have Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods, up from 12% in 2020.

However, while Camden has one of the higher cycling rates in London (7% of adults cycle five times a week), it has a slightly surprisingly low walking rate (only 41% of adults walk five times a week).

The scorecard team feels it could make more use of healthy streets behaviour change programmes to improve this. The borough also has plenty of scope for more low-traffic neighbourhoods. Hackney and Islington, by comparison, have 70% and 44% of streets in low-traffic neighbourhoods. With both plenty of quieter streets and protected space on main roads, it’s no surprise that there are visibly more cyclists in parts of Camden than in many other places.

Ham & High: Katy Rodda has been analysing the figures from the recently released Healthy Streets ScorecardKaty Rodda has been analysing the figures from the recently released Healthy Streets Scorecard (Image: LCC)

Haringey is 11th in the overall table, one of the lower-scoring inner London boroughs. It would be lower but for its School Streets (27% of schools) with STARS school travel programme, and its borough-wide 20mph speed limit.

How could Haringey improve? It has much to build on: 17% of streets are within low-traffic neighbourhoods, although these are historic, not new. Only 67% of the borough is covered by controlled parking, so there’s room to do more there.

While 57% of households in Haringey don’t have a car, Haringey can move closer to the healthy streets levels of its inner London neighbours by improving its currently poor quality and unconnected cycle tracks. It also currently has lower walking levels than many other boroughs across the city, so we would like to see that change, too.

Haringey may be behind some inner London boroughs this year, but the signs are promising. Environment portfolio holder and deputy leader Cllr Mike Hakata, and new leader Cllr Peray Ahmet just need to deliver and weather the storm that arises whenever councils take steps to reduce car use and enable alternatives.

Katy Rodda is network coordinator for London Cycling Campaign.