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  • Response from local MP after I sent an email broadly supportive of active travel measures as I felt that pov needed to be heard:

    lines starting with a 'greater than' denote quoted text

    Thank you for your recent email on the hugely controversial issue of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

    These schemes introduced with central government funds to combat the climate crisis as a Covid emergency measure have dominated my inbox ever since appearing abruptly and dramatically changing people’s daily routines.

    Those living within or nearby to an LTN have also received an elaborate fold out pamphlet with a number of maps in the past week but many of these have been in force since the summer now making it a very late communication. I’m a great believer in evidence-led policy so for me the lack of traffic surveys informing the decision to proceed and lack of pre-implementation consultation is concerning. However we are where we are and these are designed as a radical shake-up with success previously in Copenhagen and Walthamstow.

    Alas with opinions so entrenched on both sides it almost feels there is no possibility for rational debate on this subject as their result seems to have not only literally by road layout but also in terms of opinions held divided communities.

    We are now within a 6 month trial period for the multiple schemes. I have written to the council seeking clarification on why they selected the specific areas where it has occurred and what happens after. My letter can be read here [https://www.rupahuq.org.uk/2020/09/14/ru­pa-huq-mp-seeks-clarity-on-low-traffic-n­eighbourhoods-from-ealing-council/]
    and the reply received here [https://www.facebook.com/rupa4labour/pos­ts/2896728257227528]

    I also led a Parliamentary debate on the subject where several colleagues Labour and Conservative also described their experiences of these. Read the transcript here [https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/20­20-11-04/debates/5CA1BC02-327D-4ACC-B499­-434E3FBFBEE5/Covid-19EmergencyTransport­AndTravelMeasuresInLondonBoroughs?highli­ght=ltns#contribution-4173E100-1DED-4DED­-AB1E-337173419BFA] and watch the video here [https://www.rupahuq.org.uk/2020/11/05/ru­pa-huq-mp-leads-commons-debate-on-low-tr­affic-neighbourhoods/].

    I am taking up the offer of a ministerial meeting as offered to discuss concerns at greater length.

    I have also written articles on the subject in the Ealing Gazette [https://twitter.com/RupaHuq/status/13313­38623904600066] and Sunday Telegraph [https://www.rupahuq.org.uk/2020/11/22/ru­pa-huq-mp-the-sound-of-the-suburbs-is-no­w-one-of-revolt/].

    On a local level as the scheme has unfolded multiple new questions have arisen related to emergency services, quality of life on main roads, numberplate-recognition cameras and accountability framework. I am therefore writing to them again.

    I am therefore proposing that whenever it is the six month trial ends for each scheme that a referendum is held.

    Would people like to keep the schemes (with adjustments if needs be) or discard them so we can return to the way things were? This is a tried and tested method for eg CPZs each time one is introduced. This would introduce a democratic element into the process which has been sadly lacking to date. Only that way can we see what all those within the affected area really think. It would involve operationalising the concepts of “take back control” and indeed “the will of the people.” It also recognises that “one size fits all” is wrong for this policy and that some LTNs may be better designed, logical and well-received than others which have simply been hatched to conform with criteria and unlock an available budget rather than to address any pre-existing problem.

    In the meantime I have no formal role in the process as am just a council taxpayer and citizen like you but to make your voice heard through the correct channels would urge you to write to council cabinet member for Transport, Cllr Jasbir Anand : jasbir.anand@ealing.gov.uk

    Your own local ward councillors who can be found here https://www.writetothem.com/

    And above all to feed in your realtime experience please comment whenever you use one on the council platform here: https://ealingltn.commonplace.is/ As that is the one official consultation tool announced to date as well as the email address: COVIDtransport@ealing.gov.uk

    No scheme is perfect but if trial proceeds hopefully we can gain improvements to and if necessary reversal of schemes as witnessed in other boroughs.

    I hope you and yours are well in these peculiar times.

    Yours sincerely,

    Rupa.

    Rupa Huq MP
    Ealing Central and Acton

  • Would people like to keep the schemes (with adjustments if needs be) or discard them so we can return to the way things were?

    Dear Rupa,

    Returning to the way things were is not on the table. Doing nothing is not an option. The absolutely axiom here is that "more of the same" (i.e., car dominance) cannot continue for so many reasons. If LTNs are not the answer, what is? And, importantly, how will you deal with the reactionary bat-shittery that will result from whatever modest proposal for improving transport options is put forward after LTNs get torpedoed (thanks, in part, to your contributions).

    No scheme is perfect but if trial proceeds hopefully we can gain improvements to and if necessary reversal of schemes as witnessed in other boroughs.

    Scheme reversal in other boroughs has often been a panicked reaction by spineless councillors to a vocal minority who will reflexively object to any proposal that either impairs their ability to drive when and where they want, or encourages more cycling. Often schemes have been removed on the back of no evidence at all and with no alternative plan in place. So, again, what is your plan for modal shift, why will it work, and how will you help it get enacted despite the inevitable opposition.

    If you want to ask what people think about local roads, perhaps ask residents of Boston Manor whether they like living under the M4. When you find out that they don't, I hope you'll be consistent enough to campaign for its removal.

    Yours, etc.

  • A "referendum" is a bloody terrible idea, but there's already a legal obligation to run a consultation at the end of an experimental traffic order if you want to keep it, so the whole thing is a weird misunderstanding of how these things are intended work.

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