'LTN’s have been foisted upon us by a council who will not listen to its residents'

London Fields low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) traffic filter. 

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, like this one in Hackney, are controversial - Credit: Hackney council

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a meeting with the residents of Kingsbury regarding Brent Council’s plan to put in a LTN (Low Traffic Neighbourhood) by blocking off two streets between Kingsbury Roundabout and Kingsbury Station.

The meeting was hosted by Cathe Jacobs from Living Streets which is an organisation that purports to promote healthy streets and neighbourhoods, which is their speak for ‘we don’t want cars polluting our roads and cycling and walking is the best thing since sliced bread’.

The reason why Living Streets attended the meeting is because Brent is consulting them about implementing these low traffic neighbourhoods.

The residents were ‘up in arms’ at this proposal and didn’t want it at all! Would Cathe listen? No, she was only interested in promoting her ideas. Everything the residents said fell on deaf ears.

Cathe was told that putting in a LTN would make the traffic worse, especially around Kingsbury Road, Princes Road and Honeypot Lane. Princes Road has two schools on it, so any extra traffic could cause more harm to the students who attend the schools. But Cathe didn’t want to understand.

Cllr Michael Maurice is pleased "the people of the UK have rejected Labour's brand of socialism and

Michael Maurice says residents weren't listened to during the LTN meeting - Credit: Archant

I asked Cathe if she lived in Kingsbury? She said no. So I said that the residents do live here, and they know these roads like the back of their hands.

Living Streets was originally called The Pedestrians Association. Its transition to Living Streets was directed by  Benedict Plowden who has just resigned as one of the bosses at TfL. His partner is Cathy Eastburn, a member of Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, has been arrested several times for blocking up the M25 and other roads in and around London.

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Closing roads to through traffic is nothing new, but they are generally requested by residents to stop the rat runs. However these LTNs have been foisted upon us by a council who simply will not listen to its residents.

Brighton Council which is run by the Green Party have decided to remove their LTNs. Because they found it caused more pollution. So if the Green Party is saying it doesn’t work, why does Brent think it will?

Shama Tatler, lead member for Brent  in charge of implementing these LTNs, says that ‘they are consulting the residents at this stage’. What that invariably means is the questions asked in the consultation will be biased towards the council’s point of view.

By law the council has to consult the residents but they have to take any notice of it.

So here we have it, a council that doesn’t want to listen, in league with an organisation that is known to be anti car.

Personally I think there is a very nasty hidden agenda to all this, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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