Islington's Tory councillor calls for LTNs to be scrapped

Islington's only Conservative councillor Rakhia Ismail is calling on the council to scrap low traffic neighbourhoods

Islington's only Conservative councillor Rakhia Ismail is calling on the council to scrap low traffic neighbourhoods - Credit: Rakhia Ismail

Islington's only Conservative councillor is calling on the council to scrap low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs).

Rakhia Ismail is advancing a motion calling for an immediate repeal of the borough's people friendly streets schemes, which will be subject to a vote at the full council meeting on Thursday night.

The Holloway ward councillor, who defected from Labour to the Tories last November, is annoyed about the way the seven low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) zones have been implemented, with no prior consultation.

Set up on 18-month trials before a formal consultation, LTNs are controlled through bollards and smart cameras, with motorists caught breaching the new rules issued with fixed fines. 

Cllr Ismail claims: "The correspondence the council has received, and the feedback gained through consultation has been mostly negative, yet the council continues to move forward with LTNs.

"Furthermore, ongoing consultations have not been made public, and that the commitment to consultation after a full trial period is counter to proper transparency and accountability which should be forthcoming."

She added: "Although the council has claimed that LTNs make our neighbourhoods more accessible the opposite has occurred, with those with disabilities, those with elderly and medical care responsibilities, and those with children most affected."

A protest is planned outside the town hall ahead of the council meeting on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the council said the need for LTN measures is highlighted by the rise in traffic on Islington's streets.

"For example, 24.3m more miles were driven in Islington in 2019 than 2013 – an increase of almost 10 per cent," they said.  

"The monitoring data that the council has so far released on the schemes reflects their positive impact in reducing traffic within the neighbourhoods, creating quieter, more-pleasant streets for local people," they added. 

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The spokesperson promised a single-vehicle exemption will be offered to Islington’s Blue Badge holders, both to those who live in a people-friendly streets neighbourhood and who live on surrounding boundary roads.

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