Times Covers Delays to Emergency Services from LTNs

The Times newspaper covered the delays to fire services yesterday (29/3/2021) caused by the introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs).

They reported that slowed emergency responses caused by traffic calming have jumped by more than one third in London boroughs. The article suggested that frontline workers were concerned that management was ignoring the problem due to political pressure. The Times notes that one serving officer, who asked not to be named, said: “The bosses are controlled by Sadiq Khan and don’t want to upset him as he controls the budget”. Another quote supplied was “They don’t even want bollards with keys as it takes too long. When it comes to strokes or heart attacks, every second counts.”

See full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/3248bade-8ff6-11eb-930d-e9e6e3751f8f?shareToken=7e22feaa3656a60f5cfdf82e77775245

We covered the issue of emergency service delays in a note to our Lewisham campaign supporters which included the following evidence:

Many examples of delays to ambulances, police and fire service vehicles caused by road closures, road narrowing by cycle lanes and modal filters have been reported across London. The following letter from a paramedic was recently published in Private Eye.

Dead-end roads

Sir,

I saw the cartoon (Rotten Boroughs, Eye 1538) depicting “low traffic neighbourhood” barriers in Ealing preventing ambulance crews from getting to jobs. These are now pan-London and in Lewisham and Crystal Palace have caused severe delays getting to cardiac arrest calls.

On a recent job we were literally at the end of a street adjoining the road the cardiac arrest was on. Due to the barricade we had to take an almost five-minute detour around the side streets before we found our way to the address. Five minutes probably doesn’t seem long to whoever came up with the idea of the barriers, but to a London Ambulance Service (LAS) crew trying to get to a cardiac arrest patient and give that first shock, it slashes our chances of a viable resuscitation. In this case the patient did not survive.

We’re not able to call attention to the issue because our internal problem-reporting software only allows us to report equipment or personnel failures within LAS; there is no way for us to quantify’ the number of fatal delays caused by the council’s arbitrary road closures and no structure in place for us to report this. With the huge spike in Covid-related cardiac arrest calls we’ve seen in the past few months, these barricades are literally killing patients. Private Eye is the first publication I’ve seen so much as mention it.

PARAMEDIC (name supplied), London.

<END>

Residents who live within LTNs may have quieter roads but they need to bear in mind that their lives will be threatened if they suffer a medical emergency.

The Daily Telegraph also reported on a Freedom of Information Act request handled by the Borough of Greenwich. It included some comments from the London Ambulance Service:

“The London Ambulance Service (LAS) cannot support any scheme that involves the closure of a road to traffic using static bollards, lockable bollards, coffin bollards, gates or physical barriers like planters. The main reason for this is our vehicles do not carry any form GERDA or FB keys to access these obstacles and delays can be detrimental to patient safety.

Existing schemes already create us problems and gates and bollards are not generally routinely maintained pan London and are difficult to unlock anyway.

The nearest available ambulance is dispatched to a 999 call so we do not profile emergency access routes like the LFB because any crew from across London can be dispatched if they are nearest and this might not be a local crew.

Any delay in response to an address behind closures could be detrimental to patient safety and cause serious harm, injury or even death to a patient due to the ambulance response being delayed.

Consideration also needs to be given to the wider health and social care providers who will need access to address and are on tight schedules. Patient transport ambulance picking patients up for chemotherapy or dialysis appointments, district and community healthcare teams and social care carers will all be delayed by having to navigated additional road closures and restrictions leading to delayed care, welfare issues, humanitarian concerns and potential for emergency admission as a result of delays. Addition missed clinical appointments has a detrimental effect on service delivery and patient flow through the NHS system. Consideration of exemptions for these staff through restrictions would also need to be given.

Although the LAS does support the need to ensure social distancing this cannot be at the detriment of patients calling 999, but currently the use of any kind of bollards/gate/planter to close road is not acceptable”.

Clearly the “modal filters” used in so many LTN schemes are not advisable such as those used in Lee Green. Such objections may be why Councils are now installing camera systems to close roads instead. But that just creates complaints about the number of PCNs generated through inadvertent mistakes.

It is very obvious that the supporters of LTN schemes are ignoring the clear evidence of the impact on emergency services.

Roger Lawson

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Have Lewisham’s Road Closures Made Our Streets a Predators’ Paradise?

There has been much debate of late about the safety of women when walking the streets of London. The following article is written by a resident of Lewisham and gives her views on the subject and the impact of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods:

Over the course of my 40 years spent living on Burnt Ash Hill, I have walked home from the train station or the bus stop after a night out many, many times.   Advice to women who are walking home alone recommends that they should try to stick to well lit, busy streets.  In this regard, I count myself lucky to live where I do because there is always traffic.  This may well give a false sense of security because not every driver will stop if they see an incident happening in the street but there is always the hope that the approach of a car will deter or at least disturb a potential attacker and may lead to someone intervening to prevent something bad happening.  But what is it like to walk at night on the roads that have been closed by Lewisham Council on the pretext of the Covid pandemic?  Their justification is that it will improve the ability to socially distance.   But does it really make the streets safer?

To answer that question, I decided to walk along two streets that have been closed.   Admittedly, when I left home at 6.45pm it was not completely dark, but it was close enough as I didn’t want to be out much later.  Walking down Burnt Ash Hill it was reassuringly busy and crossing over the South Circular and down to the shops where the lights from the shop fronts allowed me to make out the colour of the jacket worn by the man in front of me allowed me a measure of confidence.   This changed when I turned left into Holme Lacey Road.  At the road closed sign, I turned into Dallinger Road.   The further I walked along this road the quieter it became as the traffic noise decreased almost to nothing.   From the start of this road to the end just one car passed me and the family travelling in it parked up and went into their house.   Further along, a woman was collecting her child from the minder.  She got into her car but had to turn around in the road so would not be driving past me.   Just one cyclist rode by.  I emerged and turned right onto Manor Lane and then right onto Holme Lacey Road.  By now, the light had faded, and it was fully dark.  No vehicles passed me there.  I was happy to get back to the bright lights of Burnt Ash Road. 

When I was doing the walk, catching the virus was the last thing on my mind.  I was more concerned with getting out of the closed roads in one piece.  I would not want to do this walk, alone, after catching the last train home. 

Of course, the flip side of living on Burnt Ash Hill is that when lockdown finishes these road closures will once again lead to queues of traffic outside my front door for three to four hours a day.  It is not the virus that will kill me now that I have had the jab.  It is the toxic air that is created by the traffic jams.  In the meantime, potential predators seem to have been given a helping hand for which I am sure they are extremely grateful.

Christine Warwicker

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Tories Abandoning London?

There was a good article in the Telegraph by Allister Heath yesterday about the Tories abysmal showing in London politics (they are likely to lose the Mayoral vote to Sadiq Khan in May if you believe the latest poll results). This is some of what he said under the headline “The Tories have abandoned Sadiq Khan’s London to a doom-spiral of permanent decline”:

“The reality is that while the Tories will happily take your tax money, they won’t lift a finger to help you. They prefer to help Khan: refusing to criticise the Met Police’s deplorable performance, which the mayor is ultimately responsible for; handing over billions for Transport for London, chaired by the mayor, without seizing genuine control; and promoting Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and anti-car measures that infuriate Tory voters. Covid should have been a chance to force an insolvent London mayoralty into special measures, and engineer a renegotiation of the dysfunctional devolution settlement; instead, Labour has been handed victory on a plate.

London’s “agglomeration economics” model is based on a massive, almost self-financing public transport infrastructure ferrying workers into central offices. Much of that will return, but even a 10 per cent permanent decline in commuter trips will bankrupt the transport system, forcing higher taxes and user fees, further discouraging demand.

At some stage, remote working will trigger Beeching-style cuts, tipping central London into a spiral of decline and dispersing economic activity across the nation and even the world.

Dense cities generally require more state intervention, planning and spending than exburbs. Instead, the Tories are pursuing an urban policy indistinguishable from Labour’s, have fallen in love with neo-communist ideas such as the 15-minute city – good for childless 20-something Deliveroo addicts, terrible for extended families, religious and cultural life and school choice – and transport policies that lock in ever greater levels of public subsidy.

The Government appears oblivious to all this, and has decided that it wants to win Hartlepool, not Harrow. Why not both? In abandoning Londoners to long-term decline, while simultaneously and mindlessly embracing Left-wing urbanism, it is betraying not just its electorate but also the country’s long-term interests”.

Comment: Many London boroughs are now so dominated by extreme left councillors that they pursue extreme policies with glee and without opposition. There is no active local democracy in such circumstances. Some London councils have only Labour councillors, i.e. no other parties represented and no independents.

It certainly seems that support for Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey is waning although there are a number of other contenders for the job of Mayor. My position is that Sadiq Khan has done a very poor job. His policies have been divisive and he has not tackled the big issues in London of housing, crime and transport while running up massive financial deficits. The road network is becoming paralysed by the growth of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, a policy actually promoted by central Government and Conservative ministers.

Sadiq Khan seems to prefer to spend more time on attacking the Government and playing politics than actually doing the job he was elected to do. Only a few years ago the common saying was “Vote for anyone but Ken” in the era of Ken Livingstone after the public became disillusioned with his performance. Now the saying is surely “Vote for anyone but Khan”.  

Roger Lawson

Full Telegraph article here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/17/tories-have-abandoned-sadiq-khans-london-doom-spiral-permanent/

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Why LTNs are Failing, and Deserve to Do So

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) are still spreading over London but opposition to them is growing. Some have even been removed or substantially reduced already due to local opposition. It’s worth reviewing why they have failed or generated such opposition, and why they are even being installed in the first place.

The support for LTNs comes from a desire to reduce traffic, particularly on residential streets. This is promoted by their supporters as a way to reduce air pollution and to tackle climate change. A number of London councils have declared “climate emergencies” which they say justifies an attack on the use of vehicles, particularly internal combustion driven ones. But this has extended to halting the use of all vehicles which it is argued will  reduce traffic accidents, enable children to play in the streets and encourage people to walk and cycle, thereby making us healthier and live longer.

Even those who own vehicles (about 50% of London households own a car) would like to see less traffic as high traffic levels cause congestion and hence extended journey times. Many residents who own cars want to drive via the shortest and least congested routes possible but don’t want folks from adjacent neighbourhoods driving down their street.

There are undoubtedly good arguments for encouraging healthy life styles not just for your personal benefit but because it reduces the cost of the NHS which we all pay for out of taxes. However the introduction of LTNs as a solution to excessive traffic has followed the law of unintended consequences. Firstly they tend to simply redistribute traffic from minor roads onto surrounding major roads. Those roads become more congested and as the traffic is slow moving or stationary, it creates more air pollution for residents of those roads not less.

LTNs do not reduce the demand for travel. They might encourage the use of walking or cycling by the healthy and young cohort of the population but there is very little evidence of a significant change in the habits of existing car drivers. In other words, the claimed “modal shift” generated by “modal filters” and such like is frequently a mirage. The traffic does not “evaporate” as claimed but gets redistributed or delayed as circuitous routes are taken. The elderly and disabled are particularly disadvantaged as they may be unable to walk or cycle far, if at all. But their needs are frequently ignored by council planners who tend to be young and unsympathetic – indeed the Equalities Act which protects minorities is often not properly considered.

Of course it does depend to some extent on how well designed is an LTN. It has been long standing practice to close some minor roads to avoid excessive traffic which should be on major roads. At least that is the theory but in London even major roads are commonly roads on which people live in apartments, i.e. they are residential roads also.

Other roads such as major shopping “high streets” have been pedestrianised to the advantage of shoppers and retailers. This writer certainly has no objection to such measures which remove traffic to other roads as long as the needs of the disabled are taken into account.

Although overall vehicle ownership and traffic volumes have actually not been rising in London in the last few years, the closure of roads, the addition of cycle and bus lanes, and other measures such as removal of gyratories, more traffic lights with reduced timings and more pedestrian crossings have resulted in more congestion. The growth of ride hailing apps such as Uber have also contributed to more congestion in some parts of the capital.

The population of London has been rising rapidly, encouraged by Mayors of all political complexions. This has put more pressure on transport and on housing provision. Even public transport has become heavily congested while buses are delayed and become less attractive to use by the traffic congestion. The rise of deliveries of internet orders by LGVs has also increased markedly leading to higher use of minor roads which has also been supported by the use of Satnavs.

What can actually be done that would really reduce traffic in London and cut air pollution? Here are some more realistic ideas:

  • Reducing air pollution by obstructing traffic (a typical focus of LTNs) simply does not work. The solution is to produce vehicles that generate less pollution. In fact this is well on the way to being achieved by Government regulation and taxation, and by improved diesel/petrol engines.
  • Reducing the population of London would relieve the problem of traffic congestion, public transport congestion and housing insufficiency. Why does no politician advocate it?
  • Investing in expanding and improving the road network would also help while putting in LTNs does the opposite.

Note that none of those measures will actually do anything about climate change, whether you believe in man-made global warming or not. The contribution of road transport to CO2 emissions globally is only 18% and is falling while emissions from aircraft and shipping is rising. Meanwhile other sources such as home/office heating, industrial processes and construction are very big contributors. These emissions do of course directly relate to population levels so that’s another reason for reducing the population.

But global emissions are dominated by the big and populous countries such as the USA, China, India and Russia. The UK only contributes about 1%. So when local councillors such as Councillor Scott in Croydon suggest we are all doomed unless we cut vehicle use, he needs to go tell it to Joe Biden et al. 

The UK is already focussed on achieving net-zero carbon emissions and is well ahead of other countries in that objective. But whether it is economically practical to achieve that, or wise to even aim for it, has yet to be confirmed. But it is certainly the case that putting in LTNs in local boroughs will have absolutely no impact on the outcome.

Regrettably many local councillors seem to think they got elected to save the world rather than sticking to their job of listening to their local electorate and improving their borough by practical steps. Even central Government politicians have fallen into this trap, hence the encouragement with funding from Grant Shapps, Transport Minister, for LTNs.

In the meantime all LTNs are doing is creating enormous inconvenience for many of London’s residents to no purpose. It’s like a religion where supporters of LTNs claim benefits which are unproven but they think all you need to do is believe in them and the world will be a better place. No it will not be.

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Horn Park and Weigall Road LTN in Greenwich/Lewisham

In addition to the Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) schemes in other parts of the London Borough of Greenwich previously mentioned on this blog, they are now proposing a scheme in the Horn Park Lane and Weigall Road area.

This will include closures of Weigall Road, Abergeldie Road and Westhorne Avenue using cameras and will significantly affect residents of the triangle of roads between the South Circular and the A20. That is particularly so as Lewisham Council have already closed Upwood Road.

This scheme is being imposed with an Experimental Traffic Order and you can find more details plus a map on this Commonplace web site where you can post your comments: https://greenersafergreenwich.commonplace.is/proposals/horn-park-low-traffic-neighbourhood

This scheme will cause many residents to take long circuitous routes and create problems for delivery drivers and other service providers. It is completely unnecessary as the volume of traffic on these roads has never been very high.

It is important for residents of the Borough of Greenwich who are opposed to these proposals to send in objections directly to the Council, and also send them to your local councillors. You can look them up here: https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/200155/councillors_and_elected_officials/598/find_your_councillor

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LTNs Force Vehicles into Poorer Roads

A good article in the Times on Saturday 13/2/2020 reported on how Low Traffic Neighbourhoods resulted in vehicles being directed into streets where poorer people live. Traffic is diverted onto boundary roads which already have high traffic levels and where residents often live in low-cost housing such as flats.

To quote from the article: “The figures will fuel concerns that the policy of sectioning off certain areas of cities to through traffic is dividing communities and disproportionately benefiting middle-class homeowners.

Residents who live on the edge of the zones say their lives have been blighted by increased traffic, pollution and noise. They point out that many of the cycling and environmental activists who have campaigned for LTNs live in areas that have benefited from the schemes at the expense of their neighbours.

Ediz Mevlit, a bus traffic controller from Enfield who has become a campaigner against low traffic neighbourhoods, said: ‘Our local LTN is in the more affluent part and it is pushing traffic on to the surrounding roads that are less affluent. These policies have completely advantaged the wealthier people where I live including a senior figure in one of London’s main cycling groups. I find it absolutely disgusting’”.

See https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/low-traffic-zones-force-cars-into-streets-where-poorer-people-live-6svsbck3k for full story.

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High Court Hearing on JRs and Camden Road Closures

An initial hearing of the legal challenge by several groups over road closures in London took place in the High Court on the 12th of February as part of the judicial review process. According to a report on social media, the hearing by Justice Tim Kerr gave permission for the Lambeth, Hounslow and one of the two Hackney cases to proceed. The other Hackney case was dismissed as out of time (there are strict limits on the time allowed for filing judicial reviews). A case filed by the group OneEaling was withdrawn because the council filed new Experimental Traffic Orders to replace older ones. This is what that group had to say about this:

“Ealing Council shamefully side steps High Court hearing but contributes towards our legal costs.

The decision has been reached NOT to attend court today. We were left with little choice as Ealing Council sought to side step the proceedings by replacing the old ETOs with new ETOs. On Wednesday, Ealing wrote to our judge advising that the hearing should not go ahead because they had made new ETOs that day, meaning the old ETOs that we challenged would cease to be in operation as of 17th February. This would mean us battling in court over ETOs due to expire in 5 days after the preliminary hearing.

This was truly a blatant attempt to sidestep the court case and being held to account for the clear deficiencies in the original ETOs. They claimed that new ETOs were needed because there were ‘substantial changes’ to the original ETOs, specifically, adding of ANPR cameras and allowing Blue Badge holders access to their own LTNs. These changes clearly did not need new ETOs, as they had already swapped out bollards for cameras in some of the LTNs with no amendments to the existing ETOs.

We took legal advice and it was clear that going to court today faced with this new situation was pointless.

Ealing continued their disgraceful shirking of responsibilities right up until yesterday by telling the court that we needed to request a hearing for our costs and they would respond at a later date. In the end, having pushed Ealing, we demanded that our legal costs were met and they agreed to cover a substantial amount in the region of our legal costs incurred to date.

To be clear, whilst not the day in court we wanted we see, this as an acknowledgement they got the ETOs wrong. One only had to look at the new ETOs to see all the changes they have made (whilst not enough) stem from issues we have raised.

The decision to vacate the hearing today was not taken lightly. We are as disappointed as you are to be denied the chance to have the evidence heard and Ealing held to account. However, just so we are clear, this is NOT the end of the road for the legal process.

We appreciate that whilst securing our legal costs is a positive step, this does not get us to where we want to be with the removal of all LTNs. Hence we are reviewing the new ETOs with a view to what further action should be taken. We are already mobilised with a great legal team in place and believe that there are still significant issues with the schemes. They are still unsafe, discriminatory and do not achieve their objectives”.

Note that Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP were the solicitors instructed on the Lambeth and Hackney cases – see https://rookirwinsweeney.co.uk/rook-irwin-sweeney-llp-instructed-in-challenge-to-low-traffic-neighbourhoods/

Camden Schemes

A cycle lane scheme for Haverstock Hill appears to have been halted but it is unclear whether it has been abandoned or simply being reconsidered.

There is wider opposition to LTN schemes in Camden and a legal fund has been created to oppose them.

See Camden legal fund:  https://gofund.me/ba5156b1 for more details.

Please support it.

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Greenwich LTN and Opposition to Enfield “Regime”

The London Borough of Greenwich are proposing to close a number of roads in the Westcombe Park and Maze Hill area to form a new Low Traffic Neighbourhood. This is the area to the east of Greenwich Park – they have already closed roads to the west. See map above of proposed closures.

Some of the closures will be “modal filters” (i.e. via bollards) such as on Maze Hill and Vanbrugh Hill which will be particularly inconvenient as these are key north/south roads between the A2 and Trafalgar/Woolwich roads. More traffic will be forced onto the main roads which are already heavily congested.

The Council is using a Commonplace web site to get feedback (and a badly designed set of questions at that), but that is not a proper way to do public consultation. This is some of what we have said before about that system:

The system is not an unbiased platform in that typically it is used to promote what a Council is planning to do – and that means after decisions have already been made to implement schemes.

It also has the problem that unlike a conventional public consultation only people who are internet enabled, and are even aware of the platform, can respond. This excludes a large number of people such as the elderly who are not internet connected or don’t spend much time on it. So it tends to be dominated by young activists and those active in local politics, i.e. the comments on it are unrepresentative of the wider population. Indeed information received from Lewisham Council about their feedback on the Lee Green LTN said that they received 9,200 comments but they were from only 3,490 respondents. Many of the comments are repetitive and there is no attempt to stop duplicate comments so the system can be exploited by organised activist groups such as cyclists.

Wildly inaccurate comments can also be made on the platform with no “rebuttal” possible – you can only “Agree” with comments, not “Disagree” with them and you cannot comment further in response. Clearly there are many people commenting who are not directly affected, and those that are affected just give very polarised comments. The comments are not helpful in determining a sensible compromise to meet the needs of the majority.

In summary, Commonplace is a system that can be used by Councils to claim they are “listening” to residents when in reality it is not a fair and honest way to collect the views of all residents. It is not an alternative to a proper public consultation and is more designed to promote the views of scheme promoters than collect unbiased information.    

But I would encourage anyone affected by this scheme in Greenwich to post their comments anyway – go to:   https://greenersafergreenwich.commonplace.is/proposals/westcombe-park-and-maze-hill-area-low-traffic-neighbourhood

Enfield LTNs

There is strong opposition to the LTNs in Enfield. A report on Guido Fawkes web site says that “The leader of loony left Enfield Council has reported the opposition to the police for calling her regime a regime”. Apparently a tweet said that the Conservative Councillors had repeatedly called Enfield Council a ‘regime’ – insults with islamaphobic undertones it was claimed.  

Guido Fawkes suggests this is regular political language and that the complainant, Nesil Casliskan, is a complete idiot. This writer agrees with Guido. When there is a deficit in democracy, as there is in Enfield and many other Labour controlled boroughs, then calling it a “regime” is very appropriate.                                     

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LTNs Collapsing Under Public and Legal Pressure – Croydon the Latest

Several Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) schemes have been abandoned and the latest one to collapse has been that in the Crystal Palace and South Norwood area of Croydon.

This is what local MP Ellie Reeves said in a latter to the Council after a consultation was undertaken:

“The consultation outcome is now known and the results set out below:

– 26% in favour of changing the scheme to ANPR

– 15% in favour of retaining the existing scheme

– 61% in favour of removing the scheme entirely

An overwhelming number, 61% of residents, voted for the removal of the scheme entirely. However, I understand that Croydon Council is looking at implementing ANPR cameras instead. This is not what local residents voted for. This is not what local residents want. There was a high turnout of 25.29% of residents responding, it is important to note that traffic scheme consultation would usually expect a 10-15% response rate. I am surprised that the Council’s report has implied a higher turnout was needed for the results of the consultation to be carried out as expressed by local people who have to live with the decisions they have voted for”.

Yes the Council will be removing the existing scheme almost immediately but they are proposing to bring in an ANPR (i.e. camera enforced) scheme to replace it. Such a scheme will provide exemptions to local residents and other selected groups. They also need to take some legal advice after the recent High Court judgement on the Mayor’s Streetspace plans.

This is what one local resident said about such a proposal: “Where do you draw the line with the permit? Each case looks fair on its own, but you end up with so many permits you might as well not bother”. The ABD totally agrees with that view. We are opposed to permit schemes or timed road closures. They are very expensive to operate and camera enforcement just enables the local council to generate enormous amounts of money in fines through accidental infringements.

In Lewisham over a million pounds has been extracted in this way in a few weeks. Above is a picture of signed bus gate enforced by ANPR in Manor Park which shows how confusing the signs can be. The “No Entry” sign in theory stops buses going through making it the shortest bus lane on record.

The opposition to fines in Lewisham, where many people have collected tens of them racking up thousands of pounds in fines, has resulted in multiple appeals to the London Tribunal and surprisingly it is reported that many have been upheld.

The quote above from a local resident in Croydon comes from a publication I shall call “Insidious Croydon” as they always make abusive comments about the ABD. This publication suggests that the local campaign against the LTN in Croydon called “Open Our Roads” is backed by the ABD and that the Council has caved in to motoring lobby groups. This is simply wrong. The ABD has made a token donation to Open Our Roads, as we have to other anti-LTN groups in London. But we have no influence over the Croydon campaign which was created and run by local residents. It’s the ordinary vehicle owners in Croydon (and the neighbouring borough of Bromley whose residents have also been badly affected by the scheme) who hate the road closures and the traffic congestion they have created.

Open Our Roads is still pursuing legal action on the Croydon scheme. See this web page for other anti-LTN campaign groups in London and their funding of legal action: https://www.freedomfordrivers.org/london-road-closures.htm

The conclusion is obvious. The majority of local residents oppose LTN schemes where they have been imposed. And that includes people who do not even own vehicles. If it was not for central Government and the Mayor of London encouraging and financing such schemes, using the Covid-19 epidemic as an excuse, they would never have been adopted. Bear that in mind the next time you vote.

Roger Lawson

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Legal Actions Against LTNs Escalating

There are as many as 10 separate legal actions being pursued by London residents against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs). There will be an initial hearing in the High Court on the 12th February to decide how the cases should be dealt with.

The grounds for each legal challenge may vary from borough to borough depending on the actions of the local council. But the possible grounds for a legal challenge may include the following:

Roads can be closed by the use of Traffic Orders but there needs to be reasonable justification for such closures and time given for objections. There are also several Acts of Parliament that might be relevant. For example:

–         The Road Traffic Act 1984 which contains this sentence (in Section 122): “It shall be the duty of the Greater London Council and of every other local authority upon whom functions are conferred by or under this Act, so to exercise the functions conferred on them by this Act …. to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic….”. Road closures aimed simply at reducing traffic appear to be ignoring that duty.

–         The Traffic Management Act 2004 which puts a duty on local traffic authorities to manage their road network to make sure that traffic can move freely. Again this duty is being ignored.

–         The Equalities Act 2010 which restricts discrimination against people with disabilities or based on age when road closure proposals negatively impact those sections of the community.

There is also the issue of the lack of public consultations on many of the road closures to date, or they have been done in an incomplete and biased manner.

Alternatively some of the road closures have been simply irrational, or have been progressed without the correct procedures being followed by councils.

The recent successful action by black cab drivers against the Bishopsgate road closure showed how there may well be successful challenges against LTNs introduced using Streetspace funding from TfL.

Below is a list of those campaign groups who are specifically raising funds for legal action. Please give generously!

Croydon: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/open-our-roads-legal-justice-fund

Ealing: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/oneealing

Enfield: https://www.gofundme.com/f/bounds-and-bowes-voice-bowes-ltn?

Hounslow: https://www.gofundme.com/f/onechiswick-united-against-streetspace-changes?

Hackney: https://www.gofundme.com/f/stop-hackney-road-closures?

Lambeth: https://www.gofundme.com/f/OneLambeth?

There is a more complete list of campaign groups on this page of our web site: https://www.freedomfordrivers.org/london-road-closures.htm

Roger Lawson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Drivers_London

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