The City of London is set to ban most vehicles from 75 per cent of its streets in a major expansion of controversial low-traffic neighborhood measures.
Hackney Council signed off on a plan to put three quarters of its streets in LTN, billing it as “the country’s most ambitious plan” to tackle toxic air.
The Labour-driven borough already has the largest number of schemes in London, with almost half of its roads covered by traffic management measures.
Mayor Philip Glanville said Hackney’s three-year local implementation plan would see the area have the largest number of car restrictions, public electric vehicle chargers and cycle parking in the capital.
He said: “This is the most ambitious scheme in London, if not the most ambitious in the country, building on an incredible track record in the city.”
The new proposals will see LTNs installed in Dalston, Hoxton, Chatsworth Road, Craven Walk, Cazenove Road and Stamford Hill between now and 2025/26.
Some £19 million given to the Town Hall by the government’s Leveling Up Fund will be used to redesign Pembury Circus Junction and “green up” five acres in Hackney Central.
This adds to already existing plans in London Fields, Hackney Downs and Stoke Newington to allow only cyclists, emergency vehicles and bin lorries to pass.
LTNs use either physical filters, such as bollards and planters, or traffic cameras to stop vehicles using some of the smaller residential streets, while cyclists and pedestrians are unaffected.
Drivers with disabilities who hold a blue badge and live outside LTN areas will also be allowed to pass through some of the car filters.
Opponents claim that road blocks divert traffic from certain, often affluent, streets and into neighboring areas.
“There is no justification for safe, quiet streets for some at the expense of others,” said residents’ group Hackney Together.
A study published earlier this month by the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy and climate charity Possible found measures in London “substantially” reduced motor traffic in residential areas, which had a significant impact on surrounding main roads. Didn’t have much effect.
Hackney Council said it had seen a nearly 40 per cent reduction in traffic in its four largest schemes installed recently, as well as 2 per cent fewer vehicles on border roads.
Labor councilor Mette Coban, Hackney’s head of environment and transport, said plans would be made with resident input, and that businesses in affected areas had been consulted.
“We also want to go back to the areas where we have made sustainable plans to make further improvements,” he added. “He’s looking at Hackney Downs Ltn, London Fields Ltn, some of those concerns residents have been raising for us.”
He said: “We promise to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change and to create a greener, healthier Hackney as a result.”
Thousands of new bike storage spaces, safe pedestrian walkways and shared car clubs will also be put in place as part of the plan.
It will also see the number of Hackney “school streets”, where temporary restrictions are placed on traffic when pupils arrive and leave school, expanded from 49 to 60.
The move is in stark contrast to the neighboring borough of Tower Hamlets, where new mayor Lutfur Rahman has scrapped several traffic-calming measures and is now advising on removing others.
Removing the LTN was one of Mr Rahman’s key campaign policies before winning power and defeating Labor in local elections last year.
It comes as Sadiq Khan is facing a legal battle over the expansion of his Ultra Low Entry Zone (ULEZ) in the suburbs of London.
The mayor’s flagship policy is being challenged by the ring of councils surrounding the capital and added to the zone from 29 August.
They have threatened legal action in an attempt to block the plan, which would see drivers of older or more polluting cars pay £12.50 a day to use their vehicles.
Richmond became the latest city yesterday to meet with Mr Khan to reconsider the upcoming expansion.
The Lib-Dem controlled authority asked City Hall to delay the plan until public transport is improved and the cost of living crisis is over.
Councilor Alexander Ehmann said: “We support the Ulez extension, but the timing and levels of support for people’s transition are important factors, which in our view the mayor hasn’t gotten right yet.”
Harrow, Hillingdon, Croydon, Sutton, Bromley, Bexley, Havering and Kingston have also all expressed they are prepared to contest City Hall for the Ulez.
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