Haringey LTN restrictions Black Boy Lane

Haringey LTNs divide opinion between residents and council

Haringey council and its residents continue to clash over the recent introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) to several roads in the area.

Three trial LTNs have been set up, in Bounds Green, St Ann’s and in Bruce Grove West Green, aimed at cutting road traffic and pollution in Haringey, as well as improving walkability and cyclability of the area.

However, residents have complained about the increase in pollution, journey times and fuel consumption.

Lydia West, assistant head teacher at a school within the St Ann’s LTN, said: “My eight-minute drive takes me an hour to walk which isn’t practical when bringing work back home.

“It now takes me 35 minutes to commute, idling in traffic.”

Traffic building on West Green Road

West said other staff at the school had to take their cars to mechanics as their car batteries had been affected by idling in traffic.

Ediz Mevlit, a bus driver from Palmers Green, said: “I object to LTNs because they are socially unjust. 

“More congestion and pollution is pushed upon others for much longer hours in the hope of evaporation. 

“Seeing children like mine developing breathing difficulties while children in the LTN play in the streets shows the injustice of the scheme.”

Mevlit said well designed LTNs added to newly built roads would work, however retro-fitting them to existing roads would always create winners and losers. 

He also said drivers in outer boroughs have less attractive options, because buses often run late.

Mevlit said LTNs were further harming the bus service as trips were running late through congestion caused by the diverted traffic.

He called for cheaper options to driving and the improvement of public transport systems.

Two live petitions are running on the Haringey council website, with one petition showing opposition to the West Green and Bruce Grove LTN trial having gained over 7000 signatures since the 30th August.

In response to the opposition, Councillor Mike Hakata, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, said: “We want to make very clear that we are listening to residents, and we are not inflexible on this.  

“We are also talking to and carefully considering the feedback we are getting from partners such as Transport for London, health colleagues and other key stakeholders.    

“Like all councillors, I live in the borough, and am experiencing the longer journey times, so, I know that this is a major change to how some people get around.

“Nothing is set in stone; if LTNs aren’t doing what they’re supposed to – reducing the overall volume of traffic on our roads, improving road safety, reducing air pollution – then we will not hesitate to make changes.

“We want to get this right – for everyone.”

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were introduced by Haringey council, as part of the Haringey Streets for People scheme, to help the whole community benefit from cleaner air and safer streets as well as reduce the volume of traffic.

Haringey LTN restrictions on Black Boy Lane, St Ann's
Restrictions on Black Boy Lane, in the St. Ann’s LTN

Bollards and smart cameras are used to prevent traffic from taking shortcuts through smaller roads, with exemptions given to emergency services, council refuse and residents with disability needs.

If a driver contravenes the new system, they can be issued with a penalty charge of £130, reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days.

Last week, Councillor Peray Ahmet, Haringey Council Leader, apologised for the postponing of Monday’s full council meeting.

Council Leader Peray Ahmet explaining the decision to postpone the full council meeting.

Ahmet said a small, very loud group of protestors against the Haringey LTNs had forced their way into the building and caused the abandonment of the meeting.

Councillor Ahmet said: “By supporting residents to walk, cycle and shop locally, the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods will also play a critical role in tackling existing health inequalities in the borough.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are helping to tackle our city’s filthy air quality, supporting the huge increase in cycling and walking since the pandemic, and making London’s roads safer.

 “LTNs reduce road dangers and clear up London’s air to make communities safer and greener. 

“Boroughs are continuing to work closely with residents, emergency services and local retailers to make improvements where needed. 

“It’s vital that we don’t replace one health crisis with another caused by air pollution. 

“Bold decisions must be taken to help save the lives of Londoners and ensure we are creating a better, safer and greener city for all Londoners.“

For further information on Haringey LTNs and the new scheme, click here.

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