Haringey Community Press

Haringey Community Press

Council sets out ‘bold’ low traffic vision

Haringey Council aims to make the borough one of London’s biggest low-traffic neighbourhood areas, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter Increasing the number of low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) is a “massive” ambition for Haringey Council as part of “bold action” to tackle climate change. Mike Hakata, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, transport […]

Hero for Council sets out ‘bold’ low traffic vision
A low-traffic neighbourhood in neighbouring Enfield

Haringey Council aims to make the borough one of London’s biggest low-traffic neighbourhood areas, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Increasing the number of low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) is a “massive” ambition for Haringey Council as part of “bold action” to tackle climate change.

Mike Hakata, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, transport and the climate emergency, said the council aimed to boost the proportion of the borough covered by LTN schemes “year on year” and “equal the best [boroughs] in the capital”.

LTNs involve closing residential streets to through-traffic in a bid to cut ‘rat running’ and improve air quality, while allowing access to residents. Cllr Hakata said they were one of three “core elements” of the town hall’s plan to cut carbon emissions from motor traffic, alongside ‘school streets’ schemes and protected cycle lanes.

Environmental campaigners called on the council to encourage residents to avoid using cars during a deputation to a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. They pointed out that the borough now “lagged at the bottom of the table” of inner London boroughs on a scorecard drawn up to measure progress on delivering “healthy streets”.

Responding to their calls, Cllr Hakata said the borough’s climate action plan – which aims to make Haringey net zero-carbon by 2041 – was a “collective endeavour” that involved working with residents, but the council also needed to make sure it was “taking bold action”.

Cllr Hakata said the council aimed to implement three LTNs during the next twelve months. Located in parts of Bounds Green, Bruce Grove, West Green and St Ann’s, they would cover an additional 15% of the borough on top of existing schemes.

LTNs have proved controversial in some areas amid claims they displace traffic and pollution to surrounding roads. In Enfield, Conservative opposition councillors called for the two existing schemes in the borough to be scrapped. Last week, Ealing Council began removing seven LTNs following “extensive consultation with local residents and consideration of available data on the impact of LTNs on air quality and encouragement of active travel”.

But Cllr Hakata said the council aimed to press on with the schemes in Haringey. He added: “Our ambition will be to increase that amount of coverage on a year-on-year basis. If you look at it from that point of view, our ambition is really quite massive – within two or three years, equalling the best [boroughs] in the capital.”

He said the council was drawing up a strategic road map that will set out where and when it will introduce the 34 cycle lanes in its walking and cycling action plan.

Cllr Hakata added that the borough already had 17 school streets – which stop drivers using roads outside schools during pick-up and drop-off times – after the council brought the programme forward “massively”, and it will up the number to 27 by spring next year. It is also looking at how to bring forward further school streets in its plan.

He said: “All in all, we want to push that ambition, we want to increase walking and cycling, creating safe corridors crisscrossing the borough. The support that we get from residents helps inspire us and push us forward. Hopefully, in the next twelve months, we will have seen the outcomes of that ambition.”