Published: Thursday, 18th March 2021
A statement from the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, Sustainability and Transport regarding low traffic neighbourhoods and cycle lanes.
Climate change and poor air quality are already having a dramatic negative effect on our health and, like COVID-19, have become an issue of equality and social justice - hitting our elderly, vulnerable and poorest residents the hardest. That’s why last year we set an ambitious target to reach net zero carbon emissions 20 years ahead of others.
Cars contribute to climate change and are a major source of air pollution too. Not everyone owns one, forty per cent of households in our borough don’t, yet they disproportionally affect everyone's quality of life due to pollution, speeding and illegal parking. However, we also understand that for some people and businesses, there are essential journeys that need to be made by vehicle.
That’s why we have been consulting on a range of proposals funded by Transport for London, in different parts of the borough, to make roads cleaner and safer for residents. Proposals include new cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNS). LTNs prevent cars from taking shortcuts through residential roads by closing the road with planters, bollards or cameras in strategic locations. The needs of the emergency services are taken into account too and we work closely with them.
We understand that not all these proposals have been universally popular and we have received some real concerns about how some of the proposed schemes would work. I would like to assure residents and businesses that we are hearing those concerns and will ensure these inform decisions that we take.
We have written today specifically to businesses on Old Dover Road, who have expressed significant concern about the potential impact of these proposals to ensure they know we are hearing those concerns loudly and clearly.
We have been listening to your feedback during the course of these consultations and after each one closes, we will analyse in detail all the responses that have been collected. These responses will, alongside other information like traffic data, inform a decision on the schemes. I have also been talking to our teams at the Council about how we can improve the way we engage with our communities on projects like this in the future. I have asked officers to begin developing plans for deeper engagement at a local level, looking at methods such as citizens juries to ensure that the views heard are representative of all residents.
We will then announce the next steps on a scheme-by-scheme basis to address the issues raised and with just a few days to go before consultations close, I would strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t had their say yet to let us know as soon as possible.
Follow the links below to find out the latest on each scheme...