Letter on LTNs in the community

London Fields low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) traffic filter. 

London Fields low traffic neighbourhood (LTN). - Credit: Hackney council

Low Traffic Neighbourhood policy divides communities

Jon Carp, Stoke Newington, full address supplied, writes:

Hackney councillors are actively destroying Stoke Newington and neighbouring areas with the divisive LTN policy. They also appear to be colluding with neighbouring boroughs in this respect. 

The mayor’s clearly stated aim (2019) is to introduce road charging. For that to generate reliable income, it’s clear that road traffic will have to increase rather than decrease. 

Use of the term ‘rat-running’ is defamatory and insulting towards residents. It clearly should only refer to traffic transiting through Hackney to elsewhere - not to residents. 


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If this was honestly about ‘rat-running’, locals with parking permits would be allowed though the LTN blocks with ‘outsider’ through-traffic being blocked. 

Traffic filter in Hackney Downs Low Traffic Neighbourhood. Picture: Hackney Council

Traffic filter as part of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme in Hackney Downs - Credit: Hackney Council

If it was honestly about pollution, EVs would be allowed through LTN blocks to encourage uptake. Traffic would not be being moved from the wealthier and more desirable areas to be concentrated in poorer areas with higher dwelling density. Likewise, this policy increases congestion in those areas which further unnecessarily increases pollution from idling traffic caught in worsening jams. The haphazard management of roadworks on major routes exacerbates this problem. 

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The mayor has claimed, for example, that blue badge holders will be exempt from the LTN barriers. How can this be? The majority of blue badge holders do not own a vehicle, and legally and legitimately use their badges to enable them to be driven by someone else. Clearly only blue badges permanently linked to a specific vehicle could be tracked by ANPR cameras. This is direct discrimination against the majority of blue badge holders. 

Hackney seems to be putting most of the counters onto the quietest roads at the quietest time of the year to create favourable “statistics” to prove the point as they want it to appear. 

The current policy seeks to gain mass support of the vocal cycling lobby and the residents of private housing to create an impression of overwhelming support for these schemes. The needs and wishes of other residents and traders are disparaged and ignored. 

Returning to the mayor’s long-term plan, it is obvious to anyone that the intention is to restrict traffic to a few main roads to enable more efficient tracking by future traffic charging cameras and to prevent drivers from being able to avoid them. 

The policy seeks to divide communities and create problems for which they can produce a revenue-generating solution - funded largely by TfL and central government. 

In these aims, it is sadly largely succeeding.

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