Gridlock on Graham Road 

Local resident Annette Harada Rosenau on how Graham Road has changed since the introduction of Hackney council’s road closures.

These photos show scenes from outside my home on Graham Road on the 18th September – during the morning school drop off, at lunchtime, and the afternoon pick up. I didn’t even photograph the evening rush, as that’s a given! It never abated, in both directions, all day – not just peak times. It’s a polluted, gridlocked mess. I can’t even open the windows on the street-facing side of my flat.

I’ve sent these and a strong, lengthy email to the Mayor, various councillors, and the Streetscene consultation email (the addresses of which a few people kindly shared on posts over the last couple of days).


The numerous buses that travel up Graham Road are at a standstill; I cannot think this gives anyone any incentive to catch buses now through Hackney. Drivers are regularly making u-turns to trying and find alternative routes – putting cyclists at risk in a number of instances I’ve witnessed. There has also been a noticeable increase in noise pollution from more horns being blasted by angry drivers.

Blocking off so many roads does not magically help achieve fewer cars on Hackney’s roads. Many of these vehicles are buses, lorries, delivery vehicles, tradespersons’ vans, etc – all which presumably ‘need’ to be on the road. But they have no choice but to use Graham Road now, as all other routes are being blocked off, preventing them from going about their business.

I understand the desire to encourage local residents to use cars less and use other modes of transport, such as walk or cycle etc. I’ve been a Hackney resident for 15 years and I, like many others on here, already do the right thing by walking / scooting / cycling to school, the shops, the parks etc – and yet we are being punished. We are the “collateral damage” it appears; sacrificing us for the sake of making some other roads quieter. It stinks (quite literally). Additionally, one would reasonably assume many of the cars/vans/trucks driving along Graham Road are not even local to Hackney, so the whole “getting locals to use their cars less” point is essentially moot.

The traffic should be shared fairly amongst all residents and all streets of Hackney. Let’s keep up the fight, we cannot let it continue.

This is was first published as a post on the Horrendous Hackney Road Closures Facebook group. We are grateful to Annette Harada Rosenau for allowing us to republish it here.