Brent cycling group calls to improve rather than remove LTNs

A traffic filter in Cricklewood

A traffic filter in Cricklewood - Credit: Sylvia Gauthereau

A Brent cycling group has spoken out after the council agreed to remove four low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) schemes. 

The council is considering how to fund the removal of schemes in Olive Road, Dollis Hill and Preston Road, as well as Tokyngton and Wembley 'Healthy Neighbourhoods'.

The Stonebridge and Harlesden area scheme will remain, except for the restriction at Mordaunt Road.

But Brent Cycling Campaign, a local branch of the London Cycling Campaign, has criticised the decision made at a cabinet meeting on January 17.

Sylvia Gauthereau, the group's coordinator, said: "The issues of pollution, congestion and lethal roads are not going anyway anytime soon. Neither will the climate emergency.

"If the council thinks they can implement measures to tackle these important issues without genuinely reducing car use or providing alternatives to residents, they will fail. And then, we all fail."

The group called out the schemes, which were installed in September 2020, as being "never full implemented, incomplete, not enforced, paused or, in the case of Preston and Wembley, abandoned altogether early on". 

It said calls for improvements, based on feedback from residents, were never carried out and "ignored". 

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Consultations with residents revealed the majority (91 per cent) of respondents opposed the schemes.

But Ms Gauthereau stated they would have substantial support if designs were revised.

Ms Gauthereau added: "These schemes are living interventions which grow on residents feeding back their lived experience of them. So why ignore this feedback for 18 months?"

Brent Council intends to continue its Healthy Neighbourhoods scheme by looking for alternative traffic reducing measures.

Council leader Muhammed Butt said earlier this month: “The commitment is there from all of us to engage, to work, to come up with ideas, and because no two wards, no two streets are the same."

The council have also agreed to make 26 School Streets permanent. 
 
A spokesman added: “We’re committed to cleaning up Brent’s air, tackling climate change, and making it safer and easier for people to choose active, green travel in our borough. 

"Our Healthy Neighbourhoods were always trials and we promised to listen to local people before we made any permanent decisions."