Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have been badly implemented and communicated by Ealing Council. This has led to division in communities, and because of this the Council is backtracking on the schemes. LTNs can and do reduce traffic levels, and if well communicated have the support of local residents. As the Green Party candidate in West Ealing and Hanwell for the Council Election next year, I wanted to set out what I would do differently. Here’s the starting point we can all agree on:
All residential streets must have air pollution levels below the WHO guidelines1.
Any residential street – including main roads- not within these limits must be considered for appropriate measures to reduce air pollution. A suite of measures is needed. LTNs form part of that, and I would ensure Ealing Council offers this to residents through meaningful consultation. If an LTN in one area causes an unacceptable increase in traffic and air pollution in a different area, this second area will then be considered for appropriate measures.
As part of a comprehension air pollution strategy, in conjunction with Transport for London, other measures must be taken. Examples include: expanding the ULEZ across all of Ealing Borough, surveying local journeys made, reviewing barriers to active travel, and review of bus services. Converting buses to electric is a key priority of Greens on the London Assembly.
The introduction of LTNs needs to be part of comprehensive, joined up strategies for addressing air pollution, climate change and active travel across all of Ealing. The Council’s current Air Quality Action Plan expires in 2022 and the new Plan needs to deliver meaningful results2.
Meaningful consultation means agreement in advance with local community groups about who will be consulted, and what percentage of responses will be acceptable. A mixture of consultation methods must be used, appropriate to the local community. Consultation results must then be communicated via letter and electronically. Consultation will include reference to air pollution and carbon emissions, and will not focus solely on ‘rat-running’. The current consultation is inadequate, it offers only a Brexit style “in or out choice” and is open to abuse. It will not solve the divisions, or provide a coherent answer to the problems of air quality, carbon emissions and road safety.
To show support for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods the council has an online consultation here:
Elected Greens have a track record of being able to deliver action on air pollution, carbon emissions and active transport: https://york.greenparty.org.uk/campaigns/clean-air-zone-for-york/