More than third of cash spent on Quiet Streets scheme went to consultants

Redbridge Council announced it was ending the trial for the Quiet Streets scheme and it would be shu

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request reveal the full breakdown of money spent on the Quiet Streets scheme - Credit: Roy Chacko

New figures have revealed that more than a third of funds spent on a short-lived low traffic neighbourhood scheme in Redbridge went to consultants.

Data obtained through a Freedom of Information request have broken down the costs of the Quiet Streets scheme.

With residents given just a week's prior notice, work began to install the scheme on September 14 2020. 

But less than seven weeks later the planters were removed at a cost of more than £24,000, after more than 4,000 Barkingside residents signed a petition in opposition to the scheme. 

Despite its short lifetime, the cost of the scheme ran to £327,733, paid for by Transport for London (TfL). 

More than a third of the money spent on Quiet Streets - £129,230 - went to consultants who advised on the delivery and promotion of the scheme. 

The cost to remove the planters themselves ran to £21,468, while revoking the traffic management order cost £3,500. Storage of the planters is estimated to have cost £4,800. 

A spokesperson for Redbridge Council said that while they had received "significant support for the scheme's principles", the overwhelming response had been to ask for its reversal.

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They said: “We listen to our residents’ views and deliver the services, projects and infrastructure that communities want and deserve.

"As part of this process residents expect and deserve a thorough consultation prior to the installation of new schemes.

"Unfortunately a full length consultation was not possible due to the time restrictions placed on the council.”

The Recorder reported earlier this month that Redbridge Council had its active travel funding frozen after removing the scheme. 

At the time, the council said they were “actively involved in positive dialogue” with TfL and expected to be able to confirm their funding in the near future.   

A TfL spokesperson said that LTN schemes were giving Londoners additional walking and cycling infrastructure and ensuring a "cleaner and greener" recovery from the pandemic.

They said that TfL had been clear with boroughs that schemes need to be "properly trialled to adequately assess their success" before decisions are made over removal and said they were "disappointed" that a small number of schemes had been removed "prematurely".

According to the 2021 London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard, published last month, low traffic neighbourhoods cover just five per cent of Redbridge streets which would be suitable for the policy.