Had pledged to support removal if schemes proved unpopular
Feelings running high in Ealing on LTNs. Picture: David Read/Facebook
Five ward councillors representing Walpole and Northfield wards are being pressed to justify their stance on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) having previously pledged to support their removal if they were unpopular.
Over 1,700 of their constituents have signed an open letter to Cllrs Block, Driscoll, Conlan, Rai and Shaw reminding them of their commitment made back in August of last year that ’if after the end of the sixth month trial period, the consultation results prove both to be representative of our constituents as well as negative, we would support the move to remove LTNs.’
The council’s own consultation showed that over three quarters of local residents and businesses were against the schemes.
The councillors issued a collective statement in which they acknowledge strong feelings about the LTNs but argue that their position remains the same. They say the changes made as a result of the interim review mean the trial period has been extended and therefore a decision needs to wait until this is concluded.
They say, “We do believe in the principal aims of the LTN policy: encouraging more active travel by walking and cycling, reducing cut through traffic and safer streets. We also pledged to support their removal after the trial period ends if the consultation results prove to be both representative of our constituents and negative. Any decision made will be based on listening to residents’ feedback, the data collected during the trial period and the overall impact of the LTNs.
“The trial period of the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods was extended following an early review that we called for which was published in December. Feedback from the emergency services and results from the early review led to changes being made to allow improved emergency vehicle access, alongside access for Blue Badge holders. This means that the decision point at the end of the trial has not been reached yet. We have asked for and received assurances that there will be no further extensions to the trial period for LTNs.”
The open letter disputes that the alterations made to the scheme as a result of the review are ‘immaterial’ and will have no bearing on the final outcome of the trial and the overwhelming local opposition to the schemes.
It states, “We now look to you to implement your promise to remove the LTNs with immediate effect and restore our freedoms. If you are not willing to stand by your public commitment and implement the will of such a vast majority, then step aside and allow us to nominate councillors who will represent us.”
The council is pressing ahead with its programme of LTNs with five more being announced so far this month.
Residents can visit the low traffic neighbourhoods' page of Ealing council's website for further information on the schemes it has already implemented.
You can email feedback to TrafficNotices@ealing.gov.uk, or post them to the Highways Service, Perceval House, 14-16 Uxbridge Road, W5 2HL, quoting reference ORD XXX.
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March 4, 2021