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Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) and Congestion in Hackney

Reported via desktop in the Streetspace Feedback category anonymously at 15:52, Mon 5 October 2020

Sent to TfL less than a minute later. TfL ref: FMS2326596.

I have been a resident of Hackney for almost 20 years, and am both saddened and angry due to what Hackney council and Mayor of London is doing to my local area with these ill conceived Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. What is more disappointing is the fact that I have been a life long Labour supporter and voter, and am in disbelief that they have railroaded through these proposals which are killing the community and local businesses, without consultation with the people who actually live there. This is something I would have expected from perhaps a Conservative council and not from Labour. We, the people who live there should have more say that the cycling lobbyists who seem to get them to bend over backwards for all of their wishes. I myself am a cyclist and an occasional car user, but now my journeys are taking up to 4 times as long to complete when I use a car. It may surprise you, but sometimes a car is actually needed to do certain things.

I also believe that these closures, most of which we were not consulted on, to be discriminatory under the 2010 Equality Act. It is impacting on disabled, elderly residents, and all those for whom car journeys are a necessity. Where Hackney council did consult, such as with the Brighton Road/Nevill Road closures, the majority of the views of respondents and local residents were ignored. These LTNs have increased the air and noise pollution for residents where greater numbers of vehicles are being forced onto their streets instead. Diverted traffic is now running heavily in areas it had not before, causing serious issues of road safety and increased pollution for residents and road users in those areas. Contrary to your biased reporting, traffic does not just ‘disappear’ or ‘go away’ it is simply displaced to another area. You can see this quite easily for yourself if you were to spend some time near any of the main roads in Hackney.

Residents are voicing concern for their safety as autumn and winter evenings draw in. Darker nights in quieter streets will lead to an increase in robberies and assaults, as has been reported in Islington. They are a few weeks ahead of us regarding the closures, and I am well aware of the increase in crime in these ‘people friendly’ streets. Even cyclists have been getting mugged by being pushed off of their bikes then having them stolen. As a father of two teenage girls, I will not let them walk home or even use public transport when coming home from their friends houses at night as the quiet streets are a ‘muggers paradise’, so now I have to go and drop them off and pick them up, and am therefore adding to the pollution and congestion that you claim to want rid of... This policy just does not make sense.

The impact of road closures is affecting journeys London-wide. Due to increasing traffic jams and lack of previously available routes, vehicles are taking longer to make their journeys, increasing pollution, and causing greater frustration and costs for drivers. Emergency services are finding their journeys more difficult, with increased traffic jams and narrowed streets. People with disabilities and mobility issues are being forced into longer journeys, with less or no places available for them to park.

Workers’ commutes via car or public transport are taking much longer, impacting on their daily lives. Taxi drivers are frustrated and at risk of less income due to these changes. This will lead to further increases in fares for taxi rides, which are already beyond the reach of many.

Delivery firms, builders, and other service providers, are suffering longer journeys and finding it much more difficult to make their way to residents’ addresses. This will no doubt lead to many more workers from outside London deciding it just isn’t worth the frustration of trying to carry out work in London boroughs. I have also heard speeches from carers and cancer nurses who now either have to give each patient a shorter visit, or visit less patients in a day due to the time it takes to get around now with these draconian measures that have been brought in.

Consumers will have little choice but to avoid these areas, impacting negatively on the local economy. At a time when Corona virus fears and restrictions are causing people to try to travel more safely, for those needing to use their cars more now than previously, Hackney Council has decided to make this form of transport far more difficult. It just doesn’t make sense. This is a totally disastrous policy which was implemented undemocratically, in general without consultation and without the agreement of residents. Our local Council, MP, and London Assembly should be working with us, not against us.

Regards,

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Updates

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    State changed to: Fixed

    Posted by TfL at 16:31, Mon 5 October 2020

  • It's great to see Hackney have plans to improve the environment. The LTN's in my area have been very successful. It's a lot safer to walk and cycle and you can stop and chat in the street. I can shop locally on foot or with my bike now without feeling under constant threat of injury. It's got to be better for local businesses. I have endured a lot of dangerous and aggressive driving over the 40 years I have lived in Hackney. It puts a lot of people off walking and riding a bike. I am very sorry that I was not able to encourage my children to enjoy cycling. But, as someone who has cycled in London for 50 years I know how dangerous it is. Every year traffic volumes rise. Now, in LTN areas its a lot better. I can't wait for a bus-gate on Church St. I think one is planned. It's my local shopping street and it's dominated by motor traffic, most just using it to pass through. I got rid of my car. You don't actually need one in London. When you have one you tend to use it just to justify the expense, and because of habit. My road (Albion Road) is not on a LTN. It does have very heavy traffic at times. It's noisy, dangerous and unpleasant. My only hope for a more people-friendly street is for a bus-gate on Stoke-newington Church Street. More of the same please Hackney and TFL.

    Posted anonymously at 20:56, Sat 30 January 2021

  • I am delighted with the new road closures. I have lived in Hackney for 30 years and the traffic has steadily become worse so its great to see this ambitious plan to reduce traffic in the borough. At first I heard a lot of very negative opinions on how this was going to impact us but, having researched the results of the 2014 LTN that was introduced in Walthamstow, it looks as though those fears were unfounded. I live on Church Street and there hasn't been any noticeable difference in the traffic so far. Looking forward to the Church St bus gate being installed too. I think it's great for Hackney.

    Posted anonymously at 16:26, Mon 15 March 2021

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