Redbridge could sustain 20 times more LTN coverage, report says
- Credit: Redbridge Council
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) cover just five per cent of Redbridge streets which would be suitable for the policy, according to a coalition of sustainable transport groups.
The 2021 London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard, published yesterday (July 6), ranks the borough 31st out of 33 London local authorities for overall ‘healthy streets action’.
It compared Redbridge unfavourably with Hackney, where LTNs reportedly cover 55 pc of suitable streets.
Commenting on Redbridge’s performance, a spokesperson for the coalition of groups behind the scorecard said: “Things are looking very bleak for residents unless change comes soon - and there’s little sign of that, despite the borough declaring a climate emergency.”
Redbridge Council insisted that it was "committed to creating cleaner, safer and greener streets” in the borough and said that comparisons with inner London boroughs like Hackney were a “crude analysis”.
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The coalition includes London Living Streets, CPRE London, Sustrans in London, RoadPeace, London Cycling Campaign, Future Transport London, Possible, and Wheels for Wellbeing.
Cycling charity Sustrans helped Redbridge Council deliver its ill-fated Quiet Streets project last year.
The council introduced the LTN scheme in September 2020 but it was shut down just a month later after fierce opposition from residents in Barkingside.
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Kartik Parekh, who started the group Barkingside Chaos to oppose Quiet Streets, said that residents should be consulted before any further LTNs are considered.
He said: “Residents must be fully engaged with and elected councillors must only proceed on that basis - it is the residents who know their area is best.”
The Healthy Streets scorecard gives each borough a score based on nine indicators – Redbridge achieved 1.75, compared with 5.33 for Waltham Forest, another outer London borough.
The report claimed that Redbridge has one of the lowest rates of adults walking or cycling, one of the highest rates of pedestrian or cyclist casualties and a high rate of car ownership.
It also said that just 1pc of the borough's roads had protected cycle tracks and only 15pc of streets have a 20mph speed limit.
The coalition claims that parking is controlled on only one tenth of streets, while the School Streets policy – where traffic is restricted around schools at arrival and departure time – is only in place for 3pc of schools, compared to 41pc in Merton.
The coalition’s spokesperson said: “Redbridge has simply not done enough and needs to take urgent action to support its residents and make its streets safe and more pleasant so more journeys can be made by walking, cycling or public transport.”
A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “In Redbridge we are committed to creating cleaner, safer and greener streets.
“As an outer London borough, we do have higher levels of car ownership than central London boroughs, and such scorecard comparisons where Redbridge is compared to boroughs like Hackney, provide a crude analysis that does not reflect the very different make up and geography of London boroughs.
“Following the successful pilot of School Streets surrounding the area of three schools in Redbridge, we are now rolling out a further five schemes which are due to start in September, with plans for more in the pipeline."
The spokesperson also said it is about to consult on installing segregated cycle lanes on a number of roads as well as traffic calming and 20mph zones.
“We are happy to work with all groups, including Healthy Streets and their partners, as we develop our plans.
"We are sorry that they did not get in touch with us to find out about our plans before publishing their scorecard so that they could present a more accurate picture of work underway in Redbridge.”