London borough of Ealing to rip out Low Traffic Neighbourhoods after resident ‘referendum’

·3-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

Almost all Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods in a west London borough are to be scrapped after a resident “referendum” found the majority of people living in them were against the schemes.

Ealing council has collected more than £2.8million in fines from drivers using its nine new low-traffic zones as cut throughs.

But the town hall has now said it will rip out seven of the LTNs it set up during the pandemic following the results of a consultation published this week.

A survey of residents living in roads covered by the schemes found between 58 and 82 per cent opposed them.

Overall people living in streets on the boundaries of all of the LTNs were most against them, with between 50 and 93 per cent saying they would like to see them removed.

More than 20,000 people responded to its consultation. Supporters of the schemes argued this was a small percentage of Ealing’s almost 345,000 residents.

Thousands of people marched on Ealing town hall earlier this year in protest at the LTNs (Handout)
Thousands of people marched on Ealing town hall earlier this year in protest at the LTNs (Handout)

Ealing Liberal Democrat leader Gary Malcolm said: “Ealing council needs to roll out more cycling provision, such as cycle hangers, cycle hoops and cycle training as well as making the Uxbridge Road and other main roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

“LTNs are not the answer as they only push traffic to other roads. Any future transport schemes need to actively consult neighbouring boroughs as well as our residents.”

Conservative councillor Gregory Stafford added: “The results of this survey confirm what we have been telling the council for over a year - residents want these LTNs scrapped.”

Just two of the Ealing traffic blocks will remain in place - Adrienne Avenue and Deans Road - after 60 to 70 per cent of people living the streets said they were in favour of the measures.

The Acton Central, Junction Road, Loveday Road, Mattock Lane, Olive Road, West Ealing North and Bowes Road LTN will be removed.

However, Ealing council said government guidance released in July prevents the immediate removal of restrictions and a final decision on the schemes is “likely to be taken at the council’s cabinet meeting in September”.

It comes after more than 2,000 people marched on the town hall in protest at the traffic restrictions earlier this year, which contributed to the local authority announcing the end of a trial neighbourhood at West Ealing South — and vowing it would give residents “the final say” on future schemes.

The decision follows a number of other high profile closures of LTNs in London after protests from drivers.

Harrow announced the removal of its TfL “Streetspace” cycle lanes, which were set up during lockdown, with councillors citing a “clear” lack of support for the changes.

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

However a government report has found that is a gap between “real and perceived public opinion” on LTNs and support for the schemes is more than twice as high as opposition.

It has announced £338million to encourage more for walking and cycling, with a large proportion going towards LTNs and protected cycle lanes.

Boris Johnson said that opponents of the schemes "must tell us what your alternative is because trying to squeeze more cars and delivery vans on the same roads and hoping for the best is not going to work".

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