Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: manifesto for Ealing Council

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/

1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ambient-%28outdoor%29-air-quality-and-health
2. https://www.ealing.gov.uk/downloads/download/4240/air_quality_action_plan_aqap

Lockdown with Children and neighbourliness

The last 3 weeks have meant I have spent more time with my children than ever before; even in the summer holidays my 5-year-old daughter did some holiday clubs and my son (20 months old) continued in nursery.

As my wife is a hospital doctor and therefore has been very busy, it has been down to me to do the majority of the childcare, whilst remotely trying to set and monitor work from the students I teach. In one sense this has been an opportunity to have significant amounts of time with them from which my youngest seems to have particularly benefited from, and of course, a challenge, how to occupy and look after them whilst I try to work. 

We are lucky to live a terraced house with a small garden, it gives the children an opportunity to get outdoors safely, and also a chance for my daughter to socialise with my neighbour’s children (fortunately they are approximately the same age both sides), though it has taken some creativity to make sure she has done so safely.

I have not pushed my daughter too hard in terms of school work; half an hour of maths, and the same writing and reading each day is enough. More and it risks a battle of sustaining her concentration, and it is hard to keep my Son happy at the same time. The rest of time has been filled with more creative activities, play-doh, drawing, Lego/Duplo and, of course, TV. 

Things could be far worse; my daughter is still making progress and is learning. I can’t help but think this reflects the wider picture though, that children from relatively advantaged backgrounds have the facilities to learn, far more so than those from less privileged backgrounds. It certainly shows in the work that I am receiving from my own students, there is a clear pattern for who is and is not doing it fully (or at all).

To learn remotely you need good broadband and access to a computer (if it has to be shared with siblings/with parents working from home, that can be limited) and somewhere quiet to concentrate. There are rumours that schools will be amongst the first places to reopen. As long as it is safe, that is a good thing, the lockdown is exacerbating inequalities.

Much as the time with my children has been a silver lining to the very dark cloud of this pandemic, I really want to get back to work and helping all my students.

Before you go

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