London council scraps SEVEN low traffic neighbourhoods after failing to improve ...

London council scraps SEVEN low traffic neighbourhoods after failing to improve ...
London council scraps SEVEN low traffic neighbourhoods after failing to improve ...

Seven of London's Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) are to be scrapped after they were found to increase local congestion and caused 'no material change in air quality'.

Ealing Council studied nine LTNs following outcry from residents, who gathered in their thousands outside the town hall in April to demand they be axed. 

The LTNs were brought in during lockdown last year to redirect traffic away from residential areas, which involved installing cycle lanes, closing off roads to through traffic and widening pavements.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously announced the scheme - which plans for 200 LTNs across the country - is to receive hundreds of millions of pounds as part of the Government's so-called 'green transport revolution', which hopes to reduce car use by encouraging walking and cycling.

However a year after being introduced, seven out of the nine LTNs in Ealing had 'no data available on whether there has been an impact on walking and cycling', a  report found. 

Ealing Council even discovered an increase in traffic on one road within the Acton LTN, as well as an increase in cars travelling on its boundary roads.

While five of the seven LTNs did inevitably experience a reduction in traffic on residential streets inside the scheme, 'increased congestion' was created on nearby streets, although not necessarily on boundary roads, reported the Telegraph

More than 2,000 people protested against the Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme outside Ealing town hall in April (pictured)

More than 2,000 people protested against the Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme outside Ealing town hall in April (pictured) 

A report by Ealing Council found LTNs had 'no material change in air quality' for affected residents (Pictured: an LTN in Dulwich)

A report by Ealing Council found LTNs had 'no material change in air quality' for affected residents (Pictured: an LTN in Dulwich) 

In Ealing, between 63 and 79 per cent of those living inside the schemes are opposed to them, climbing to 67 to 92 per cent among those residing on the boundaries (Protestors marching to Ealing town hall in April)

In Ealing, between 63 and 79 per cent of those living inside the schemes are opposed to them, climbing to 67 to 92 per cent among those residing on the boundaries (Protestors marching to Ealing town hall in April)

The report reads: 'There is evidence that (as would be expected) traffic flows have reduced within each of the LTN areas themselves. 

'Apart from that, broadly speaking, the overall benefits for some residents are somewhat offset by disbenefits to others.

'In addition, there are no schemes where the overall impact in terms of traffic/congestion and air quality are significant either positively or negatively.

'Given this, it is considered that the views of local residents within the LTNs, and therefore most directly impacted by the schemes, are particularly important in terms of deciding whether or not the LTNs should remain or be removed.'

The council used three different systems to evaluate public support or opposition from both those living within the LTNs and those living on roads on the borders. 

The damning report challenges the Government's repeated claims that LTNs are a popular idea among the public.

In Ealing at least, between 63 and 79 per cent of those living inside the schemes are opposed to them, climbing to 67 to 92 per cent among those residing on the boundaries.  

The damning report challenges the Government's repeated claims that LTNs are a popular idea among the public (Pictured: Motorists dug up flowers and destroyed plants as part of their angry protest against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in Dulwich Village, South London)

The damning report challenges the Government's repeated claims that LTNs are a popular idea among the public (Pictured: Motorists dug up flowers and destroyed plants as part of their angry protest against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in Dulwich Village, South London)

The Acton LTN in particular had 'strong opposition', with 82 per cent of those inside being against it, rising to 92 per cent for those on its boundary roads.

Only two LTNs had support, with 70 and 61 per cent of residents being in favour of them remaining in place.  

The report - expected to be rubber stamped by councillors this week - calls for the seven unpopular LTNs to be scrapped and for the well-liked two to remain.  

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