Redbridge’s two Quiet Streets schemes to be shut down
PUBLISHED: 11:50 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:34 16 October 2020
The Quiet Streets scheme in two neighbourhoods in Redbridge will shut down after fierce opposition from residents.
Just a little over a month after the Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) scheme was first installed council leader Jas Athwal said it would be reversed and the planters removed over the next two weeks.
Some residents are disappointed the trial, which was meant to last until roughly the end of the year, was shut down so quickly after buckling to pressure from residents with cars and not doing anything to help prevent a climate emergency.
Cllr Athwal said: “Although we have received some positive comments and significant support for the scheme’s principles, including reducing air pollution and making our roads safer, the overwhelming response has been to ask us to reverse the changes, and we are listening.”
He added that though the planters were successful ,the biggest issue was not having a thorough consultation period with residents prior to installing the scheme, which he said was due to time restrictions placed on the council.
Clayhall resident Paul Reynolds said he was disappointed the council caved to a “noisy few” while the majority of residents will go back to suffering with more noise, air pollution and rat-running.
He said: “This was meant to be a trial over several months, with actual results that were analysed with facts in due course.
“It takes time to change habits. So much for climate emergency - let’s just do all we can to make it as easy as possible to drive everywhere.”
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Ilford North MP Wes Streeting said: “The scheme was well-intentioned, but not one that was improving quality of life for the neighbourhood.”
The reversal comes a day after all six Labour councillors from Barkingside and Cranbrook, the two wards that have ongoing Quiet Streets schemes, sent out joint statements opposing it calling on the Low Traffic Neighbourhood plans to be scrapped on a permanent basis.
Keith Prince, Conservative London Assembly Member for Havering and Redbridge, who raised the issue in City Hall, said he was pleased the council “finally listened to residents and scrapped their flawed Quiet Streets schemes.
“Well done to the residents who have been campaigning to get their Labour councillors to face facts and realise the scheme is hugely disruptive to peoples’ lives.
“This could all have been avoided if Redbridge Council had consulted residents in the first place and listened to their concerns.”
Cllr Linda Huggett, leader of Redbridge Conservatives said it was a “fantastic victory” and the “council leader and his ward councillors had no alternative but to do an embarrassing and humilating U turn.
“They finally admitted that they got it wrong and reversed this ill thought out scheme which should have never gone ahead without residents’ involvement.”
Barkingside resident Kartik Parekh who started the Barkingside Chaos opposition group on Facebook, which grew to include more than 800 members, said he was delighted to see the scheme’s reversal.
He said: “This was a monumental blunder of a scheme, which was rushed, ill thought through and ill planned.
“I am delighted the residents are being listened to.”
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