Ealing follows Harrow by ripping up plans for low traffic neighbourhood

·3-min read
<p>Last month more than 2,000 people marched on <a href=

Last month more than 2,000 people marched on

Ealing’s town hall in protest at the traffic restrictions

(Roger Green/ BBC Local Democracy Wire)" />

A west London council has become the latest to rip up plans for low traffic neighbourhoods as protests continue to flare over the controversial schemes.

Last month more than 2,000 people marched on Ealing’s town hall in protest at the traffic restrictions. Over the weekend the local authority relented and announced the end of a trial neighbourhood at West Ealing South — and vowed that it would give residents “the final say” on future schemes.

Campaign group One Ealing said the council had “divided our community by installing CCTV cameras, bollards and placing planters in an unsafe and undemocratic manner”.

It added: “We are all for cleaner air, but not at the expense of the residents and schools on the main roads.” Ealing council said the scheme was being torn out at Swyncombe Avenue, a key road linking Hounslow and Ealing, which was being closed for at least two months for road works.

Council leader Peter Mason said: “Remaining low traffic neighbourhoods will be subject to consultation, with a vote for local people on whether they will work in their neighbourhoods.”

Councillor Deirdre Costigan added: “Implementing active travel initiatives without community support is unsustainable — we can’t do this without the support of local people.”

It is the latest in a succession of battles over road closures agreed by town halls since the start of the pandemic under the Government’s £250 million emergency active travel fund.

Low traffic neighbourhoods have been set up to try and reduce air pollutionGetty Images
Low traffic neighbourhoods have been set up to try and reduce air pollutionGetty Images

Harrow council has announced the removal of its TfL “Streetspace” cycle lanes, which were set up during lockdown in the borough. Councillors cited a “clear” lack of support for the changes.

Drivers across London are now also being warned by residents about the “cash cow” traffic cameras set up to police the schemes.

Residents in Parsons Mead, Croydon, staged a protest over the weekend calling on the local council to scrap its new traffic restrictions, saying signs banning vehicles were unclear.

Shakeel Yousaf, who uses the road to drive to his mosque, said he was first caught out on Christmas Eve and was hit with 13 fines — which he successfully appealed against.

In Lewisham, a dementia support worker was given three £130 tickets for accidentally driving into a low traffic neighbourhood near her home and has alerted hundreds of motorists they were about to be fined for entering the zone.

Figures obtained under freedom of information laws have revealed motorists have paid 250,000 fines totalling £14 million for driving into the cycle-friendly LTNs in just 10 of London’s 32 boroughs. They include the Lee Green low traffic neighbourhood in Lewisham, which has generated £3.7 million in fines since it opened last summer.

Southwark levied £2.5 million in three months from two schemes, with one in Dulwich Village generating 22,424 fines in seven weeks.

Earlier this year, protests in some areas forced councils to reverse the installation of cycle lanes.

Kensington and Chelsea ripped out its Kensington High Street cycle lane in the winter after seven weeks following complaints.

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