The Independent London Newspaper

 

Park we were promised has become a gated community

Published: 16 November, 2012

• HOW many more battles will we need to fight before we can regularly use the public walkway at the City Road Basin that was promised to us more than 10 years ago? What is so complicated about unlocking a gate at 8am? Especially when the gate is only a few yards from the security kiosk where the padlock keys are held.

How many residents and workers in Bunhill ward know that if they cross City Road then they can enjoy their lunch breaks in public spaces around  City Road Basin?

If we are still asking questions like this then there must be some serious communication problems between the council and the public. It is two-and-a-half years since the Tribune reported the opening up of a park on the west side of the basin, but the celebrations were shortlived, because this park has continually lapsed into an apparent gated community, most notably at weekends.

Nobody can claim we haven’t noticed this. A joint letter was published this January and another one last week (Canal basin park lock-out, November 9). There was also an article about this issue last month. Councillors are consistently reminding people of their determination to open up the basin, but for one reason or another the majority of the public still think it is off-limits.

If the council is finding it difficult to promote this public space then once again canal campaigners will need to step in and ramp up public awareness.

We hope to use spaces on the Mount Anvil hoardings to display much-needed signage to encourage more footfall. Open spaces are in short supply in Islington so let’s not ignore them.

Ian Shacklock
Chair, Friends of Regent’s Canal

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