Lambeth’s only Tory councillor knocked back in demand for low traffic schemes to be reversed

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

A motion calling for the reversal of low traffic neighbourhoods across Lambeth will not be voted on by full council as it “does not meet the test of a genuine emergency”.

Conservative Cllr Tim Briggs, the only Tory councillor on Lambeth council, submitted the proposed emergency motion, which calls for LTNs to be reversed across the borough, to Lambeth’s chief executive, requesting that it go to full council yesterday.

Lambeth received £2,639,000 from the Mayor of London’s Streetspace plans, the most of all London councils, to cover emergency transport measures to aid social distancing and promote active travel in the wake of Covid-19.

LTNs, which involve placing camera-enforced or physical barriers in streets to prevent through-traffic, are being implemented across the capital as part of the scheme.

Lambeth recently implemented its fifth LTN in Tulse Hill, following similar schemes in Railton, Oval Triangle, Ferndale and Streatham Hill.

One of the main aims of the LTNs is to promote active travel such as cycling, walking and public transport, which many residents support.

But many other residents have also raised concerns about traffic displacement, lack of consultation, increased journey times and the division of communities.

In the proposed motion, which included testimonies from residents who have experiencing problems with the schemes, Cllr Briggs described the LTNs as “failed”, and asked for their reversal and for a “proper” consultation.

But in a response written on behalf of the chief executive, he was told that the motion “does not meet the test of a genuine emergency”.

The reply said: “The subject of low traffic neighbourhoods is clearly a significant issue affecting the local community, and there is both public support and public opposition for the schemes as is evidenced by the number of deputations and petitions received for full council.

“However, in my opinion this does not meet the test of a genuine emergency necessitating an emergency motion to full council.

“An emergency suggests a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

“You have already submitted a written motion on this topic which is on the published agenda and this will be voted on at full council.

“I do not consider that the emergency motion raises any new issues justifying this being treated as an emergency.”

Several petitions have been set up by Lambeth residents calling for an end to the LTNs.

However, other resident-led surveys have seen strong support for the schemes, while petitions have also been set up asking for LTNs in other areas.

Pictured top: Cllr Tim Briggs


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