Three years after the Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, we still have no clear evidence that LTN schemes across the borough will make a tangible difference to our local air quality.
Residents are frustrated with how LTN schemes have been forced onto their community, with no real consideration on the impact on them, and local businesses.
I have called in this Key Decision and asked the Scrutiny committee to review this councils decision to push ahead with the proposals, despite the numerous unanswered questions myself and many in the community have. Please find attached a copy of the pro-forma for your information.
The Scrutiny Committee will review this key decision at a meeting on Wednesday 19th January 2022, at 18:30. You can watch the meeting remotely here:
Full Agenda can be found here:
The Labour Council claim they consulted with residents and listened. The consultation response rate was 25%, this is a high turnout for a traffic scheme consultation which would usually expect a 10-15% response rate. Only 25% surveyed favoured an ANPR scheme, with 61% in favour of removing the scheme entirely, but still this scheme is being implemented. Croydon North MP, Steve Read had similar concerns, and raised his concerns officially by letter in January 2021.
However, £26 million is expected to be raised through punitive fines from the newly branded LTN and ANPR, so naturally for a bankrupted council, this has obviously taken the priority. But it is of course, the most deprived members of our community who will naturally suffer these financial penalties.
I have many unanswered questions:
- How will success be measured?
- What measurements will be taken?
- How will a baseline be determined?
- What are the quantitative and qualitative metrics that will be used?
- What criteria will be used to assess the scheme?
- What is the priority order of those criteria (to prevent them being retrospectively chosen to ‘prove’ success)?
- Does the council have the robust administration process in place, so that for example, people who are wrongly charged can get refunded properly?
- What does this scheme mean for unofficial carers, who are not registered with the council? For example, The daughter who would need to pick up her elderly mother in the car, is she exempt, and how will the council manage situations like this?
In a letter written by the former Transport Minister Chris Heaton Harris MP, he warned council leaders to make sure any decisions are made based on evidence, and I quote: “We (the government) have no interest in requiring councils to keep schemes which are proven not to work, but that proof must be presented."
The bankrupted Council has already spent large amount of money on this scheme with no real proof of success or environmental benefits. This squandering of local taxpayer money can be benchmarked against the Labour run Lambeth Council, who has spent close to £1M imposing a similar scheme, money that their residents complain could have been better spent elsewhere.
You may wonder why I bring Lambeth Council into this matter?
The location of All Saints school with a playground facing onto Beulah Hill, the main route through from Brixton, has already been confirmed as a potential congestion hotspot. Has this council monitored the air quality on Beulah Hill and South Norwood Hill, especially outside the school during rush hours before the scheme is enacted? This Council should not be taking any gambles, without knowing basic facts.
Communities across the borough have felt compelled to take direct action- presenting a petition to this council and forming voluntary groups to patrol LTN roads to prevent innocent motorists from being issued a penalty notice.
These schemes have dispersed and increased local traffic and emissions to previously quiet roads and drastically increased the traffic to nearby main roads as a result.
We should be bringing the community along with us, not demonising them and this very important and vital topic of improving our environment.
If you have any questions, please contact me direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Scott Roche
Shadow Cabinet Member for Sustainable Croydon.