Encouraging walking and cycling was now regarded as “essential” to “avoid overcrowding on public transport systems as we begin to open up parts of our economy”. LTN schemes would be trialled in cities including Sheffield, Manchester and Birmingham, but their introduction was deemed particularly essential to London. In May, Transport for London (TfL) needed a government bailout of £1.6bn and was required to institute LTNs as a condition of the recovery package. The fear was that Londoners, wary of using buses and the underground, would take to their cars, causing unprecedented congestion and pollution. TfL outlined a strategy to increase the number of journeys made on foot by a multiple of five, and the journeys made on bike by 10. By the end of the summer, at least 160 new schemes had been introduced across the majority of the capital’s 32 boroughs. It was perhaps the most dramatic reshaping of these streets since the second world war. Just a few months after the first low-traffic neighbourhoods were introduced, it’s safe to say that few people think they are a miracle policy any more. In Ealing, which was given more than £600,000 by TfL for active-transport initiatives, opposition has been especially fierce. Planters marking the new road layouts have been defaced and overturned, the bollards have been stolen and the holes left in the road filled in with cement. A march to protest against the LTNs in September had a turnout estimated at 2,500, while more than 10,000 people have signed a petition objecting to the scheme.
Observer 1st Nov 2020 read more »
Campaigners fighting “illegal” road closures have become the first group to win the right to take their local council to high court. Residents in Ealing, West London, claim their local authority has breached planning regulations by installing a series of planters and bollards without properly consulting residents, businesses, disability groups and emergency services. Last month, the group submitted a dossier to a judge claiming five so called ‘Emergency Traffic Orders’ (ETOs) – the regulations used by town hall bosses to rush through road closures – were lodged wrongly by Ealing Council. The court papers, seen by the Sunday Telegraph, claim one so-called Emergency Traffic Order even gave the wrong name of a street where work was to be carried out.
Telegraph 31st Oct 2020 read more »