Rishi Sunak orders review of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

July 31, 2023 by

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ordered a review of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, claiming in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph that he is on the side of drivers.

A review into low-traffic neighbourhoods has reportedly been ordered by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak amid increasing controversy and debate around green measures that impact drivers.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are a type of traffic control scheme introduced to reduce traffic and pollution by closing smaller residential streets to vehicles, encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport. Those who do wish to drive are pushed onto larger arterial routes instead.

LTNs have proven to be controversial since their introduction. Advocates claim they improve the lives and health of those living within the zone, however opponents say they increase traffic and pollution on the roads traffic is moved onto, unfairly impacting people living in these areas.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Rishi Sunak said “The vast majority of people in the country use their cars to get around and are dependent on cars.

“I just want to make sure people know that I’m on their side in supporting them to use their cars to do all the things that matter to them.”

Mr Sunak has ordered the Department for Transport to investigate how well LTNs are working. Transport Secretary Mark Harper also announced earlier this month that the government was stopping the funding of all LTNs in England.

It’s unclear at this point whether or not the government can make local councils change or scrap existing schemes.

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh accused the government of “pure hypocrisy”, saying that the Conservatives were behind the LTN schemes in the first place.

The Local Government Association has also stated that a review of LTNs was “unnecessary”, claiming that decisions should be left to council bosses.

LGA Transport spokeswoman Linda Taylor said “It is important that we consult with all residents and businesses to find the best solutions to ease congestion and improve air quality for everyone. However, it is councils who are best-placed to make decisions with their communities in improving the lives of people and businesses.

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