LTNs are not the answer to lasting change, says Worcestershire's highways chief - The Evesham Observer

LTNs are not the answer to lasting change, says Worcestershire's highways chief

Evesham Editorial 5th Aug, 2023   0

WORCESTERSHIRE’S highways chief has delivered a resounding snub to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and claimed the measures ‘aren’t the panacea some think they are’.

Coun Mike Rouse echoed the thoughts of Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Mark Harper and said widespread LTNs in Worcestershire were ‘not on the horizon’.

Mr Sunak said he had ordered the Department for Transport to see how LTNs were working.

Earlier this month, Transport Secretary Mark Harper announced that the government was stopping the funding of new LTNs in England.

Speaking in response to Green Party Coun Matt Jenkins question on Worcestershire County Council’s policy in relation to LTNs, Coun Rouse branded the schemes ‘immensely unpopular’

“A number of scheme have been met with significant local opposition and/or were ineffective, and were removed as a response,” he said.




“One of the issues raised is the increased emissions at the boundary roads for an LTN for instance as drivers seek to avoid the zones by driving around them rather than abandoning the motor car for their journey.

“Figures from Islington, for example, have shown that the number of vehicles using the Blackstock Road, where there is a primary school, has increased by 7,000 per day.


“I note with interest the recent remarks by the Secretary of State for Transport regarding LTNs. I draw particular attention to his concerns that LTNs have radicalised groups of people against cyclists and risk increasing tensions between different road users.

“As cabinet member, I will not take actions that could lead to similar outcomes here in Worcestershire.”

LTNs have been set up in recent years in major cities, with tens of millions of pounds of Conservative government funding given to councils for them since 2020.

Their aim is to encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport through the use of barriers such as bollards and planters, as well as road signs and CCTV cameras.

But Coun Rouse chose to highlight the investment in approaches to provide for travel choice, such as improved or new walking and cycling routes and additional crossings for pedestrian and cyclists.

“We have a plan for investing further in active travel over the coming years which includes a project focused on removal of barriers which restrict cycling and pedestrians with buggies, pushchairs etc and the development of walking and cycling plans,” he said.

The county’s highways boss said the council would develop schemes ‘without removing the reasonable choices that thousands of residents make every day to help them get to work and keep our local economy growing.’

“I will not extinguish the freedom of men and women across this county to choose how they move, but I will support them to make positive choices,” he said.

“Anyone who is serious about real long-term modal shift should realise communist-style diktaks are not the way to achieve lasting behavioural change.”

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