Shocking filler: LTN outrage in Dulwich

Kevin Quinn (31 December, 2021)

Residents hear of road barrier plan on Christmas Eve

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Residents in Dulwich, who earlier this year staged a thousand-strong protest in a bid to get the council to remove the Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme (LTNs) in the area, were shocked to hear a decision had already been made to it  permanent.

In a press release published on Christmas Eve, but not seen by the objectors, the council stated it’s “Dulwich Streetspace project is now finalised and being made permanent.”

An estimated 1,000 people converged on the main junction in Dulwich Village in October demanding the LTNs be removed after they were introduced in March 2020. It followed a consultation in which two thirds of people asked for the system to be scrapped.

The Dulwich Alliance, which staged the protest, said this week they would not accept the decision and would fight to have  what they called “this undemocratic, unwanted and unjust political decision overturned.”

In a statement to the News the Alliance wrote: “The Council’s own Equality Impact Assessment highlighted the problems the restrictions are causing vulnerable residents but the Council has callously turned its back on the very members of society it has a public duty to safeguard and who need its help the most.

“Its own air quality modelling report suggested that the impact of the scheme on pollution has been “negligible” and it has provided no evidence that the measures have improved safety or that any increase in walking or cycling has been as a consequence of the road closures.”

But the council says the scheme has seen a twelve per cent drop in traffic and a 60 per cent increase in cycling, part of their “responsibility to help residents’ live healthier lives.”

A thousand voices cry out against Dulwich LTNs

In the press release the council  says the scheme “is designed to help tackle the climate emergency and make the borough’s air and streets, cleaner and safer.  In order to achieve this, the council has changed the way it designs streets, giving more priority to walking, public transport, wheelchair use, children scooting, as well as cycling and access to local shops.”

The decision is now subject to a scrutiny period, which ends on Tuesday 4 January and the reports, monitoring data and correspondence, can be found on Southwark Council’s Dulwich Streetspace webpage. The council says once the decision has been made final, changes to the scheme will be made in early 2022. Residents will be updated on the timescales for when the changes will take place.

 

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