By Grainne Cuffe, local democracy reporter
Police will be patrolling road blocks to tackle ongoing vandalism as the council looks to prosecute those responsible.
Lambeth Council bosses began creating LTNs (low traffic neighbourhoods), sets of road closures with the aim of reducing car use and promoting active travel, under Covid-19 lockdown measures last year.
But vandals opposed to the zones have been targeting signs, planters, and cameras enforcing the schemes across the borough.
On July 16, Tulse Hill families woke up to planters covered in black oil, while all the cameras in the Streatham Hill LTN were covered with paint for the fifth or sixth time during July.
Residents have since repainted the planters in Tulse Hill and left a notice asking people to be more considerate.
Lambeth announced on today that there will be extra council and police patrols to tackle the problem, and the authority will be installing extra CCTV.
In a statement, the council said: “The council will also seek to prosecute those committing vandalism.”
The council has had to fork out taxpayers’ cash to fix the damage, while residents who have sowed plants and flowers at their own expense have seen them cut down or torn up.
Councillor Danny Adilypour, joint cabinet member for sustainable transport, environment and clean air, said: “People are entitled to express their views over our LTN trials, but there is no excuse for acts of criminal vandalism which put our residents at risk and this is not an effective way to engage with the council or fellow residents.
“Residents who oppose the schemes or would like to see improvements have many ways to constructively engage with the council, and we’re actively seeking their feedback.
“Vandalism poses a danger to the public, is criminal and will be treated as such.”
The LTNs in place under Experimental Traffic Orders, are temporary and subject to consultation.
The council warned that vandalism to the schemes could extend the trial periods and delay the planned public consultations.
Cllr Adilypour said: “We know our emergency LTN schemes have generated a healthy debate and we are grateful to all of the residents who have engaged and worked with us on this so far.
“The consultations will give everyone a chance to have their say in a fair, reasoned way.
“We encourage you to continue to share information with us and we thank you for your diligence to helping to keep everyone safe.
“Collectively, we can build a greener street environment that tackles the climate crisis, where cycling, walking, using a wheelchair, rollerblading or any other active mode of travel feel like comfortable and viable options for getting around.”
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