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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Southwark council scraps plan for SIXTH low traffic neighbourhood

Residents are celebrating after an eco-conscious council has scrapped a new low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN).

More than 600 people who live in Dulwich Village, south London, said they did not support the introduction of a sixth LTN in the affluent area.

In an official survey there was an overwhelmingly negative response to the plan, with 1,242 residents saying they found 'limited support' for the road closure, and only 33 per cent appeared to back it.

LTNs were created in a move to make air quality cleaner and roads quieter, prioritising the movements of cyclist and pedestrians over cars - but the schemes come frequently under fire, with many LTNs being destroyed by furious residents across the country.

The proposal by the Labour led council was to close a busy junction between Turney Road and Dulwich Village. It claimed the LTN would allow for pedestrians and cyclists to feel safer in an area with a 'more village feel'.

traffic zone, causing disabled residents to become increasingly more frustrated.

The council has now backtracked completely and quashed the proposal after the official consultation was pelted with disapproving responses from angry residents.

It is reportedly the first time that a Labour council has thrown out an idea of an LTN, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

The council also came under fire in January after one of its bosses in charge of a the scheme accused disability campaigners of 'mansplaining' as they asked for a blue badge holder exemption.

The fiery row erupted between the Labour councillor and residents as they discussed a junction in the village, which was closed with planters to become an LTN during the first lockdown.

This has meant disabled motorists, with blue badges were also forced to drive through alternative, and often longer routes.

Two local campaigners attended Southwark Council's December cabinet meeting to present local politicians with a petition, signed by 600 locals in the area, which called for a blue badge exemption.

Clive Rates told councillors that after the LTNs were implemented in 2020, a large number of people with disabilities in the area now 'find themselves trapped in their homes'.

He said: 'Is it really a benefit for society that vulnerable and disabled people find themselves unable to leave their homes?'

Mr Rates went on to relay the effect the scheme had had on local bus routes had been 'extremely deleterious not just for vulnerable people but for everybody'.

The campaigner's comments provoked a visibly angry response from councillor Catherine Rose, who oversees the LTN scheme under her role as the council's cabinet member for streets and clean air.

The councillor shouted in response: 'Have you finished mansplaining to me?

'That's exactly what you have been doing for the last five or ten minutes.

'Thank you very much, I speak to thousands of people.'

In 2021, Dulwich council raked in £6.6 million of fines from LTNs. In the past three years, LTNs have cost Londoner's £100 million in fines.

RAC data shows London has the schemes in Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Hounslow, Lambeth, Newham, and Waltham Forest. These are all Labour led apart from Croydon, which has no overall control.

In March this year, vigilantes in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, torched a number of planters used to close roads to may way for LTNs just hours after they were installed.

Footage shows the boxes completely destroyed, with locals online praising the 'freedom fighters' for acting against the low-traffic measures.

Frustrated residents in Oxford have also taken action against the schemes, with a video emerging of a driver confronting eco-zealots policing an LTN blockade and refusing to let her pass on her way to work. They have no authority to stand guard at the blockades.

The motorist was angrily telling the protesters to move out of the way, although Twitter users commenting on the video pointed out that a 'no motor vehicles' sign could be seen on the planter.

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