London Council Steps Up Security As Vandals Target Low Traffic Areas | Transport
London council to install additional CCTV cameras and step up security patrols following wave of vandalism linked to low traffic neighborhood programs (LTN), after oil was spilled on planters and in the street in the last incident.
The Lambeth authority has said it will seek to prosecute anyone targeting the infrastructure, after other incidents in which plants were pulled up, signs sprayed and application cameras damaged.
Oil was poured on wooden planters – used to restrict access to certain streets for motor vehicles while allowing pedestrians and cyclists to circulate normally – on Friday in Tulse Hill, south of London.
Five LTNs are in place in the borough as part of a trial to discourage car use for shorter local trips and reduce traffic on small residential streets, and associated signs and infrastructure have been vandalized several times.
Lambeth council said it will install more CCTV cameras and increase police and council patrols. Danny Adilypour, his joint head of sustainable transport and environment, said: “People have a right to express their views on our low traffic neighborhood trials, but there is no excuse for acts of criminal vandalism that put our residents at risk and it is not. an effective way to engage with council or other residents.
The council also said vandalism could extend the duration of programs by causing delays.
In recent months, LTNs have become a hotly contested issue, prompting occasional protests and accusations that some programs, installed at the height of the coronavirus shutdown, have been put in place without sufficient consultation.
The tips say they’re needed in part to unblock residential roads increasingly used as rat routes, often by drivers directed by navigation apps. Government figures show that traffic on these roads has doubled since 2008.
While some academics studies suggest that, with sufficient time, properly implemented LTNs gradually reduce car traffic rather than redirecting it, opponents say this is not the case and can delay emergency services as well.
Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, an air quality activist whose nine-year-old daughter Ella became the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death, has often expressed her opposition to LTN. She questioned whether it was “morally right” to channel more traffic on main roads.
She said time last year: “The main roads in urban areas are not highways… many, many people live on these already congested roads. And many children who live in these areas have breathing problems. Is it morally right to increase traffic on these roads? We have to ask this question.
A series of councils, including Lambeth, are consulting on diets. Adilypour said it would “give everyone a chance to speak out in a fair and reasoned way.”
Last month, the High Court dismissed a legal attempt on behalf of a Lambeth resident against a local LTN.
While many opponents of the LTN say they are largely unpopular, the evidence is limited. Polls have generally shown broad support, while in the May local election a handful of anti-LTN candidates ran in the by-elections for London councils and obtained minimal support.
However, the noise generated by the protests and the accompanying media coverage have convinced some advice to snatch their LTNs.