Consultation Shows Strong Opposition To Acton's LTN Schemes

Council set to consider their future at September cabinet meeting

A road barrier at the entrance to the Acton Central LTN. Picture: David Hawgood


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The responses to Ealing Council’s consultation on Low Traffic Neighbourhood Schemes (LTNs) has shown significant opposition to the measures taken in the Acton area.

There were 22,000 responses across the borough to the nine schemes being consulted on with all of them being opposed by at least three quarters of respondents.

The Acton Central scheme (LTN 25) saw opposition at 86% with 83% of people residing within the scheme area being against it.

There was a lower level of opposition to the Bowes Road scheme (LTN34) with just 58% of residents within the scheme against and opinion of those on the boundary roads evenly split but overwhelming opposition from respondents classed as ‘others’ caused the level of support for the scheme from all respondents to be just 14%

The council says a final decision on the schemes is likely to be taken at the council’s Cabinet meeting in September once full data has been gathered to meet new Government requirements. These were introduced in July and require boroughs to provide evidence justifying the removal of any active travel measure. Ealing Council was one of the boroughs specified as having funding withdrawn by the Prime Minister’s advisor Andrew Gilligan after it scrapped LTN 21 before the trial period ended.

The council has said it will proceed with LTN 48 (Adrienne Avenue) in Northolt and Deans Road/Montague Avenue (which was part of the former LTN 21). The majority of residents within the area of these schemes were in favour of their continuance but there was strong opposition to them from residents of roads on their boundary and others. The final decisions on Adrienne Avenue LTN and Deans Road and Montague Avenue LTN are subject to statutory consultation ahead of any permanent installation

Until a final decision is made by the Cabinet all schemes remain active and enforcement continues.

A range of traffic and air quality monitoring data for each site has been published which will be further reviewed and used in the report that is to be presented to the Cabinet in September.

The council now says it will not install new trial LTNs at Creffield North and South. It is currently exploring options to implement some active travel initiatives at Hamilton Road LTN in line with resident feedback from a consultation.

The council has also announced that it intends to make six cycle routes permanent.

Locations of cycle schemes include:
• Uxbridge Road, Ealing Common Stn to North Circular
• Uxbridge Road, Ealing Common / Acton, Fordhook Ave (E) to Twyford Crescent
• Acton High St/The Vale Woodlands Ave to Davis Rd.
• Eastbound approach to Hanwell Bridge
• Greenford Rd, northbound, south of Baird Ave
• East Acton to Chiswick (Old Oak Common Lane to South Parade).

Five new ‘School Streets’ are being created, on top of the 10 that have now been made permanent.

Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council, “We promised to listen to local people’s views on active travel initiatives like LTNs, and we have done just that. The council is now acting upon the results and moving forward with those LTNs that were supported by the majority living within them.

“We pledged to be an open, transparent and inclusive council, and I want to be straight with local people. We cannot yet make any decisions on LTNs that did not enjoy the support of a majority of residents living in them, as the government’s guidance on LTNs like Ealing’s suddenly changed on 31 July.

“I am sure local people will understand that our decisions on the trial schemes need to be legally robust, so we need to hold off on making final decisions for now, but we are hopeful that we will be able to make a decision in September. The heavy-handed, top-down approach being pursued by the government is not the right way to ensure we can work together to deliver active travel schemes that can secure popular support.

“We will continue to explore future LTN schemes, but we will only be implementing where we are satisfied that the data and public support them. Some of the fears around increasing traffic times and poorer air quality that some people have expressed concerns about have not come true, but we cannot definitively say they have got better because of our LTNs either.

“As these LTN trials were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, we also unfortunately do not have data on how they have impacted on walking and cycling, and how much they have encouraged active travel. In future, we want a key part of finding out how well our schemes are working to be about how many more people are walking or popping to the shops on their bikes, and how many more children are scooting to school.

“Our commitment to tackling the climate crisis and enabling active travel and cycling remains unchanged and we know we must take people with us. LTNs are one of many tools available to us in tackling the climate crisis and I am proud of our ambitious expansion of the borough’s cycling provision, our school streets and the fact that we are now a 20mph borough.

“Thank you to everyone who took part in this consultation and I hope to update residents on the remaining LTN trials in September when we have had time process exactly how the new government guidance affects active travel schemes in Ealing.”

Cllr Gary Malcolm, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Ealing Council said, “Liberal Democrats say that Ealing Council must remove ALL LTNs from immediate effect. Anything else is just causing more misery for the many businesses and those that need vehicles to do their jobs, many of whom have been hit hard during Covid. The people of Ealing borough have spoken. Ealing Liberal Democrats, based on the overwhelming opposition from the LTN consultation results, will not stop campaigning until every single LTN is removed.”

Cllr Gregory Stafford, Leader of the Conservative Group said, “The results of this survey confirm what we’ve been telling the Council for over a year – residents want these LTNs scrapped. Yet still this Labour administration prevaricates and stalls. To wait until September or even later, would be an unacceptable delay and demonstrates the continuing contempt which Ealing Labour has for the views of local residents.

“There is nothing in government guidance which prevents their immediate removal and we call on the Council to respect the wishes of residents and scrap all LTNs immediately.”

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August 17, 2021

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