Mum’s fears for disabled daughter if low-traffic neighbourhood is introduced

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A mum fears her disabled daughter will become a prisoner in her own home if a council introduces controversial traffic restrictions in their street.

Vicky Brain said Lambeth council’s planned road closures in Streatham Wells would increase journey times by so much she would be forced to cancel her daughter’s after-school clubs.

Ariande, 10, is a wheelchair user and can only walk short distances without resting.

She relies on her parents’ car to reach anywhere not in the local area.

Ms Brain, a musician, said: “It’s going to restrict our lives considerably when we get the low-traffic neighbourhood.

“It’s going to mean that my daughter can’t take part in educational and after-school activities because of increased journey times.

“If we’re doing anything in Streatham High Road we walk, but we need a car for everything else.

“We gave up using buses because the ramps often wouldn’t work and because of rude people getting frustrated at having to wait.”

Under the proposed new restrictions, Ms Brain would be banned from turning into Leigham Court Road at the junction near her house, a route she takes almost every day of the week.

She said the council has offered blue badge holders like her daughter a free pass through one road block in the proposed Low Traffic Neighbourhood [LTN] for a single car.

But Ms Brain said this will make little difference to the family because of the number of other streets they will still be unable to drive through.

The Streatham Wells LTN would close at least seven side streets to vehicles in an area of Streatham bordered by Streatham High Road, Leigham Court Road and Streatham Common North.

The new traffic restrictions are expected to come into force in Spring next year.

A Lambeth council spokesman said: “Since 2021, the council has been engaging with communities in Streatham about the Streatham Wells low-traffic neighbourhood both in person, holding meetings with community groups, churches, schools and businesses as well as online surveys.

“More recently, council officers have been out and about in Streatham Wells meeting residents and businesses, school, young people and parents, at health centres and GPs clinics and with community groups to discuss the designs.

“The Streatham Wells LTN survey asks for detailed feedback on proposed modal filters and street improvements before a trial scheme is implemented next year.

“It features a range of questions about the proposed improvements and traffic filters to make sure the designs help tackle the inherent inequalities on our streets and in our neighbourhoods.

“These inequalities are what make them inaccessible for people with mobility difficulties, for those who cannot afford to own and run a car and, since you are much more likely to be a victim of a collision if you are a young person or disabled, for those most at-risk.

“This week have extended the consultation on the proposals until January 8 to give residents even more chance to have their say during this busy festive period. We’ll be writing to households to inform them of this and encourage people to continue sharing their feedback.”

Pictured top: Ariande with her mum, Vicky Brain, outside their home in Streatham (Picture: Robert Firth)

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