Today (Friday 21 May) following the decision by the London Borough of Hounslow to close Swyncombe Avenue for a period of two months, Ealing Council has announced the end of the trial West Ealing South Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN 21) and pledged to give local people the final say on LTNs in their communities.
Swyncombe Avenue, which is the key southern link between Hounslow and Ealing on the southern border of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood, is closing to eastbound traffic on Monday for at least two months for road works.
This closure would make LTN 21 unworkable. The decision has been taken to end the trial and remove the LTN over this weekend, before the Swyncombe closure and take immediate steps to restore traffic controls to how they were before the LTN was brought in.
Ealing Council’s new leadership are committed to active travel and tackling climate change. School streets, cycling infrastructure and low traffic neighbourhoods are all part of its agenda to tackle the climate emergency.
The implementation of low traffic neighbourhoods has caused significant division within local communities. There are areas of Hanwell and West Ealing where local support remains for active travel measures. Long term plans to encourage active travel are at risk of failure in the future if they do not achieve community support.
The council will be looking to consult on smaller sections of LTN 21 that local people have told us are successful. Residents will be consulted before implementation, and nothing will be installed until after local residents have had the final say.
Ealing Council’s new leadership team are also acting quickly to reassure local people in all LTNs that they will have the final say on the trial schemes. This will be achieved by a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) style consultation on each LTN in the borough, keeping schemes that work and are supported, and removing those that do not.
Ealing Council Leader Peter Mason said: “Ealing Council promised to listen to local people’s views on active travel initiatives like LTNs, and we have done just that. The decision on LTN 21 has been brought forward because of the closure of Swyncombe Avenue and we will be ending the trial this weekend.
“Remaining LTNs will be subject to a CPZ style consultation, with a vote for local people on whether they think the LTNs will work in their neighbourhoods.
“I’ve pledged that the council I lead will be open, transparent and inclusive. That means being honest about what works and what doesn’t.
“This decision is about giving local people control over change in their neighbourhoods. Our commitment to tackling the climate emergency and enabling active travel and cycling remains unchanged, but we know we must take people with us.”
Cllr Deirdre Costigan, Cabinet member for Climate Action said: “We are more committed than ever to tackling the climate emergency and reaching our goal of net carbon neutral by 2030. But tackling the climate emergency means we will all have to make changes to our lives, and as a council we will need to work much harder to persuade and encourage people to reduce reliance on unnecessary car journeys.
Implementing active travel initiatives without community support is unsustainable – we can’t do this without the support of local people.
“We know that people in Ealing want a cleaner, greener borough with less traffic and congestion, with different views on what we need to do to get there.
“We look forward to working with the thousands of people who have become more passionate and engaged in the future of their neighbourhoods because of the LTN debate to make our borough a better place to live for everyone.”