Hackney Downs LTN to be made permanent despite opposition

Evering and Brooke Road traffic filters in Hackney Downs LTN

Evering and Brooke Road traffic filters in Hackney Downs LTN - Credit: Hackney Council

Hackney Downs low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) will be made permanent despite significant opposition to the plans.

Sixty-four per cent of responses to the council's Commonplace consultation page said none of the LTNs filters should be made permanent. 

The council however, says people who use a car or van were overrepresented in the overall results despite Hackney's low car ownership rates, with 66pc of 4,139 respondents saying they use a motor vehicle to get around. 

In responses made by people who did not own a car, 64pc wanted all or some of the LTNs to be made permanent. 

The LTN was implemented in September 2020 as part of green plans to encourage people to walk, cycle and shop locally. 

Residents' feedback reporting increased traffic on Northwold Road has led the council to develop proposals which include restricting heavy goods vehicles with width restrictions or the addition of a traffic filter. 

The removal or addition of restrictions on roads such as Benthal Road, Jenner Road, Queensdown Road and Cricketfield Road will also be considered. 

The Downs Road bus gate makes up the Hackney Downs LTN along with six traffic filters

The Downs Road bus gate makes up the Hackney Downs LTN along with six traffic filters - Credit: Hackney Council

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In addition, the council will allow Blue Badge holders to drive through part of the LTN's Downs Road bus gate, as is already permitted at bus gates at Stoke Newington Church Street and Shepherdess Walk. 

The decision to retain the LTN was based on residents' feedback as well as the results of traffic and air quality monitoring in the Hackney Downs area. 

The council reports that levels have improved since the introduction of the LTN, with traffic down by an average of 40 per cent, and air quality improvements noted at 84 of 118 locations. 

According the council monitoring data, there has been an increase of traffic on boundary roads, of 49 vehicles a day.

This average increase of 7pc was described as not a "significant" change by the council.

The local authority promises to investigate issues raised in the feedback, develop and then consult on options with local residents and then implement further changes if approved.

Cllr Mete Coban, Hackney, portfolio holder for transport, said: “It’s fantastic that there have been overall reductions in traffic and improvements in air quality in the area, but we know there are a few more things to get right."