I wish to present a petition on behalf of my constituents and those of my hon. Friends the Members for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith), for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington (Ms. Abbott), and for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Mr. Sedgemore), and of those in neighbouring constituencies. I am constrained by the rules of the House in not being able to read out all 24 petitions. They relate to the east London assessment studies, which have among their proposals the driving of a major road through north and east London. There are also separate petitions protesting about the construction of an Archway motorway through the constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green and extending into my constitency of Islington, North.
I shall read one of the petitions as an example of local residents' concern about road building. It is one that I wholeheartedly endorse, as do my hon. Friends who are here this evening. It says:
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
The Humble Petition of residents of Corsica Street, Calabria Road, Liberia Road, Gallia Road, Fergus Road and Grosvenor Avenue in Islington, London N.5,
Sheweth that there is an East London Assessment Study, commissioned by Her Majesty's Department of Transport, which proposes a number of solutions to the problems of transport in North and East London, among which is the building of new roads.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House will urge the Secretary of State for Transport to take note that: We, the undersigned, are greatly concerned at the proposals of the East London Assessment Studies to build new roads in Islington. We feel that road building is not a permanent solution, is wasteful and damaging, destroying our communities and our environment. We would like to see greater emphasis on traffic management schemes, more expenditure on public transport and encouragement to use it, with the aim of reducing the amount of traffic on London's roads rather than increasing it. We demand a transport policy which safeguards the quality of our environment and gives weight to the needs of residents, pedestrians, cyclists rather than just the motorist.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c. That is supported by 23 other petitions, which contain similar demands, and are signed by more than 3,000 people. I wholeheartedly support them.