Residents protest against new Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial in Streatham

A group of local residents blocked cars on a road in south London as part of a protest against the area becoming a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN).

Valley Road is part of a group of streets that make up Lambeth Council’s Streatham Wells Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial.

As part of the trial, only buses and taxis are able to enter Valley Road from both ends, with motorists who take the same route facing a fine of £130 from next Monday.

Locals say the signs are difficult to see, and argue that the introduction of the LTN has made traffic on the surrounding streets worse.

Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial
A camera that has been turned upside down on Valley Road (Luke O’Reilly/PA)

Julian Heather, 69, said that the LTN had been introduced “without proper consultation”.

“The LTN for Streatham Wells Ward has been introduced without proper consultation,” he said.

“They never asked people if they wanted it, yes or no, they just imposed it.

“And now they’ve got all the signage wrong, there’s not enough signage, and it’s not adequate. So the poor drivers are getting fined, particularly if they don’t live in the LTN area as they won’t have got anything through their door. And all they will know is when they get the letter saying you’ve got a penalty charge notice.”

A camera to catch motorists on the road had been turned skywards by unknown vigilantes, rendering it useless.

Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial
A sign warning motorists not to drive down Valley Road (Luke O’Reilly/PA)

While the residents had placed a stop sign on a cone that read “Stop the road closures”.

Mr Heather said that the local residents had spent the day trying to stop motorists from driving down the road.

Despite the signs and the residents’ best efforts, several cars still drove down it.

“We’re trying to just point out the signs, because they’re not very visible,” Mr Heather said.

“And just say, ‘don’t come down here’, otherwise you get a £130 fine.”

A group of cyclists stopped by Valley Road to say that they supported the introduction of the LTN, leading to an argument with some of the local residents.

The cyclists quickly left the scene.

Another resident, Priscilla, 74, who declined to give her second name, said that all the council had done was push the traffic onto other roads

“They’ve pushed it somewhere else, that’s all they’ve done,” she said.

She added: “I know a disabled lady, Uber can’t collect her, only a black cab. So she’s stuck here.”

A Lambeth Council spokesperson said: “We have engaged widely on the Streatham Wells LTN trial, a process that started in November 2021. The trial will be in place for between 12-18 months to allow Lambeth Council to collect feedback, monitor traffic and air quality levels.

“All the signage is out, and being monitored and updated as and when needed to make sure it’s all working correctly. A sign on Valley Road North was knocked over and will be fixed as soon as possible.”

“It is unfortunate that Thames Water needed to complete emergency works in the area earlier this week. During this disruption the council worked to minimise the impacts and ensure these water works were completed as quickly as possible.’’