The high cost of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

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  • #137792 Reply
    Brydo
    Participant

    We find out that rash planning means Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, which were designed to improve residents’ lives, are doing more harm than good

    Local councils across the country have spent millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on traffic reduction schemes that have been riddled with problems, including increased pollution, delayed emergency service vehicles and divided communities. Auto Express has uncovered how local authorities spent or plan to spend millions on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), despite numerous complaints, alterations and reversals of such schemes.

    After hearing about issues relating to LTNs, we began researching these projects, sending a series of Freedom of Information requests to the UK’s local authorities in November last year. We asked if councils had installed or plan to install any LTNs, how much they have spent or plan to spend on them, if any schemes have been altered or reversed, and what penalties had been issued to drivers contravening the new rules.

    What are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods?
    Giving road space over to pedestrians and cyclists isn’t new, but the recent rise in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) owes everything to the coronavirus pandemic.

    With public transport problematic due to social distancing and Covid-19, in May last year the Government announced a £250million ‘Emergency Active Travel Fund’. Local authorities could apply to create schemes that encouraged walking and cycling. Four types of scheme have been popular with councils, and all have the potential to make driving more difficult: widened pavements to allow for greater social distancing; new cycle lanes to encourage people onto bikes; ‘School Streets’ to bar motor vehicles from schools at pick-up and drop-off; and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, which divert motorists from residential roads onto busier boundary routes.

    LTNs can be created by closing off roads with bollards or planters, or can be enforced with signs telling drivers not to use the streets. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras can issue fines to vehicles who pass them, or those that aren’t registered to an address within the LTN.

    The first tranche of money released by the Government saw £42million issued to councils for temporary schemes; the second tranche, worth £175million and released in November, was for more permanent projects. The Scottish Government, meanwhile, has funded similar ‘Spaces for People’ programmes, while London’s LTNs fall under its Streetspace scheme, with money coming from both central Government and Transport for London.

    While all these programmes have the potential to make driving more difficult, LTNs have been the most controversial and problematic type of scheme to arise from the Active Travel Fund.

     

     

    *Reversed schemes accounted for in cost of completed schemes

    Failed schemes, wasted money
    Wiltshire Council spent £412,000 on an “exciting and ambitious project” that saw Salisbury city centre closed to through traffic on 21 October last year. Of that total, £250,622 went on “consultancy and monitoring” fees for the LTN, £64,800 was spent on its construction, £92,250 worth of enforcement cameras were installed, and changes to road signage cost £4,328.

    Yet that money would seem to have been entirely wasted, because Wiltshire had to spend a further £10,000-£15,000 suspending the scheme “indefinitely”, returning Salisbury to its pre-LTN state “due to impacts on local businesses during 2nd lockdown”, and a lack of “pivotal” support from Salisbury City Council. Wiltshire said it was “disappointed and surprised” by the city’s decision, because “early evidence” showed the scheme was having a “positive impact”, and the city council had “previously provided clear backing for this scheme”.

    There is much more info on this thread in this link:-

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/low-traffic-neighbourhoods

    The article was too big to post in its entirety

     

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

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  • #137795 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Who’d have thought it? A conservative government throwing ring fenced money at hard up local authorities for hair brained schemes decided by local councillors who want to win a few votes in the so-called low traffic neighbourhoods.  Total lack of strategic thinking all round.

    #137796 Reply
    ChrisK
    Participant

    Only £15 million, no problem, freeze disability benefits for a couple of years, sorted.😢

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