Active travel groups condemn move as local opponents celebrate
A road barrier being removed from an LTN in West Ealing. Picture: One Ealing
The decision taken this Wednesday evening (22 September) by Ealing Council to scrap most of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood Schemes, including two in Acton, instituted during the pandemic has resulted in widely differing reactions.
Local campaign groups such as One Ealing are celebrating confirmation that the council is to proceed with the recommendation of an officer’s report to remove seven of the nine LTNs. The date for their removal is yet to be concerned.
The LTNs to be removed are:
• Olive Road (LTN 08)
• West Ealing North (LTN 20)
• Acton Central (LTN 25)
• Loveday Road (LTN 30)
• Junction Road (LTN 32)
• Bowes Road (LTN 34)
• Mattock Lane (LTN 35)
The low-traffic neighbourhood at Adrienne Avenue (LTN 48) is to be made permanent and a new scheme at Montague Avenue and Deans Road is being introduced.
The council is also to press ahead with making the closure of Fisher’s Lane in Chiswick permanent. Calls were made during the meeting council meeting for the consultation to include a CPZ-style survey with residents having the final say on the restrictions. The closure is being treated differently to the LTNs because it is part of a cycleway scheme.
Opponents of LTNs believe a series of demonstrations combined with petitions and strong lobbying forced Ealing Council to make this decision in the face of government pressure to continue with the schemes. The borough now faces some uncertainty about future funding for transport.
Northfield ward councillor David Millican said on social media, “Thanks to the thousands of #Ealing residents who have forced Ealing Council to scrap seven unwanted LTN schemes.”
However, there was anger from local active travel campaigners some of whom pointed out what they felt was the irony of the decision being taken on World Car Free Day.
Nic Ferriday, from West London Friends of the Earth, said, “The decision to scrap LTNs is appalling. Instead of waiting to collect sufficient evidence to make a considered decision, the council has caved in to the ‘Ealing Car Lobby’ and summarily scrapped the LTNs. Instead of acting decisively on traffic reduction, air pollution and climate change, Ealing council has resorted to platitudes about ‘Active Travel’ and evermore consultation. With Labour, Conservative and LibDem councillors all eager to scrap LTNs (as well as opposing cycle lanes), members of civil society must ask themselves whether there is any value in engaging with Ealing council and its councillors. The climate emergency will not wait while Ealing Council procrastinates.”
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September 23, 2021