Thank you for giving so much coverage and feedback to LTNs.
Since June 29, 2020, with just a few days notice, roads were closed in the chosen area, Lee Green ward, Lewisham.
Plants filled wooden troughs, £690 each to us, were in place, plus a locked bollard. Emergency services, in spite of constant denials, apologies, excuses from the council, did not have keys.
In our road, emergency vehicles, police and ambulance shuddered to a halt at barriers, had to escape from barriers and deal with the emergency. We have photographic evidence.
Did nobody in authority actually acknowledge that any kind of delay, even locking and unlocking a barrier, impacts on emergency service delivery? And then the camera barriers came into being, not obviously clear and so many (drivers) just had fines, not warnings.
When blockages occurred for hours on arterial roads the chaos had to be seen to be believed.
The police could not control it. The disruption to lives of individuals, especially residents, those trying to work, services, social services, deliveries etc has been incalculable. Traffic forced on to arterial roads has increased congestion, delay and pollution.
Short journeys are now longer journeys. There is no evidence to suggest that there were unintended consequences. My husband was on the Lee Green Healthier Neighbourhoods committee, managed by a councillor, which morphed into a transport committee.
Those putting forward likely outcomes were ignored. For most of 2019, Lewisham council presented its plans for a Healthier Neighbourhood traffic system in Lee Green Ward. Several Lee Green Local Assembly meetings, a public meeting over two days and a Local Assembly meeting in early 2020 in Hither Green, were held.
At each, the officer of the council present and the local councillors were made fully aware of the pitfalls that lay ahead. Local residents drew attention to the consequences. They were ignored.
Several draft plans for closures were drawn up. Covid-19 hit and everything went into abeyance until Government money was on its way and Covid 19 emergency powers could be used to override public concerns.
Needless to say, the pavements have not been widened to increase space for social distancing. Motorbikes have taken to the pavement to avoid going through barriers, even though there is space for them.
Other residents park nearby on each others’ roads to prevent being trapped in their own road. And we live with the musical accompaniment of reversing vehicles trying to escape.
Preserve us from truly incompetent government, who do not know best, at every level.
Patricia Richardson (Mrs.) Manor Lane Terrace, Lewisham
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