Green Party councillors say LTNs 'cause more harm than good' as they campaign against traffic measures

Several Green candidates have thrown their name against LTNs ahead of the upcoming local elections

Published

Low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are "poorly designed" and can cause "more harm than good" say Green Party councillors, who have joined the ranks of those opposing the measures.

Several Green candidates have thrown their name against LTNs ahead of the upcoming local elections.

The measure looks to reduce pollution by closing some roads to through-traffic.

LTN critics feel cars are forced onto already busy main roads.
LTN critics feel cars are forced onto already busy main roads.

Critics of the scheme suggest cars are forced onto already busy main roads and many were introduced without proper consultation.

LTNs were introduced in cities after the first lockdown in March 2020 with the aim of reducing car traffic, while encouraging cycling and walking.

Many of the LTNs were met with opposition, due to inconvenience caused for drivers, as well as hindering emergency vehicles.

Maria Psaras, a Green Party candidate for Crystal Palace, has added her name to the list of the plan's critics, saying the local schemes have been "poorly consulted, designed and implemented".

Charith Gunawardena, a Green councillor in Enfield, North London, also hit out at the scheme, telling The Times that LTNs have a "'disproportionate negative impact on people with protected characteristics, including those on the lowest incomes, those with disabilities, and ethnic minorities".

The central Green Party remains supportive of the scheme.
The central Green Party remains supportive of the scheme.

Mr Gunawardena defected from Labour last year, and has launched a personal assault on a local LTN due to complaints about more traffic being pushed onto main roads.

The Southwark Green Party has also been critical, telling the campaign group One Dulwich that LTNs "had been 'introduced with poor levels of engagement, the sense of predetermined consultation and with limited phasing around implementation".

Some LTNs have already been scrapped in London due to concerns about how much they are helping air quality.
Some LTNs have already been scrapped in London due to concerns about how much they are helping air quality.

Despite opposition from local Green Party branches, the central group remains broadly supportive of the measures.

A spokesman told the Daily Mail: "When implemented with sensitivity to local conditions and proper engagement with residents, low-traffic neighbourhoods are overwhelmingly popular".

A group of LTNs in London were scrapped last year after they were found to cause "no material change in air quality".

An LTN consultation carried out by Oxfordshire County Council found only 26 percent of 2,400 respondents supported the scheme.

63 percent voiced objections, while 11 percent said they had 'concerns' about the ploy introduced to cut down on pollution.

Despite the feedback, the council announced plans to fully back the measures becoming permanent last month month.