OneLambeth Justice is a diverse, apolitical group of local residents who are deeply concerned by the impact of Lambeth Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) on our community.
We hail from a wide range of occupations, backgrounds and ethnicities, and many of us are keen cyclists, walkers and some also drive.
We are social housing residents, private renters and homeowners.
We are concerned that this scheme was implemented without proper consultation under emergency Covid-19 measures and benefits relatively few people whilst disadvantaging the most vulnerable in the borough.
It has caused division within the community on racial, class, and social lines. Barriers have been placed between people and their carers, their families, their friends, their schools, their places of worship, the businesses they rely on.
We all want cleaner air and we believe we all have a responsibility to ensure the health and wellbeing of the wider community we live and benefit from being a part of.
Our primary concerns are the the current schemes are that they are inequitable, anti-democratic and divisive.
Cleaner air should be prioritised for all residents within a community. The Council’s own Equalities Analysis states that there may be ‘traffic changes’ on roads surrounding the LTN and but they baca also said that they will be only be modelling monitoring traffic/air quality. Instead of actually measuring it. Many local schools are located on or around residential main roads which are now more congested due to LTNs. We are concerned that increased traffic on the roads surrounding the LTN is likely to compromise the health of many local residents. Although the scheme’s proponents claim that traffic will eventually “evaporate” from surrounding roads the evidence used to support this is open to dispute, particularly as comes from schemes implemented in very different neighbourhoods to our own and is quite out of date.
Many residents with limited mobility or other impairments are now finding it harder to access local amenities due to the road blockages and there has been no meaningful consultation or engagement with disabled people living in the area. Similarly many local small businesses (many of which are BAME owned) feel they have not been sufficiently consulted and have told us that they have seen a significant drop in income since the LTN has been implemented
Lambeth Council had been planning a form of the current LTNs for years yet cynically used the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to exercise emergency powers to enact the scheme. The Council both claims to have “consulted” with residents since 2019, yet in the next breath says that the pandemic left it no choice but to enact measures without consultation. Residents most adversely affected were first informed of the LTN’s implementation mere days before its implementation
Since the 1981 Brixton riots many areas across Lambeth have seen rapid changes and gentrification.
Areas that were previously viewed by outsiders as no-go zones have become desirable and expensive places to live. Where before barricades were put up by those fighting the system, today they are erected by the council dividing the community and giving LTNs the feel of a gated communities, risking serious damage to social and racial cohesion in the area.
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