Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN)?
A1. Ealing Council describes an LTN as ‘a group of residential streets where motorised through-traffic is discouraged or removed. LTNs are mostly bordered by main roads (where larger vehicles and non-local traffic should be). The main principle of an LTN should be that every resident can still drive onto their street, receive deliveries, and have visitors, but driving straight through from one main road to another should be difficult or impossible’. According to ‘Cities Today’ 3 December 2020, 92 LTNs have been installed throughout London.
Q2. What are the Ealing LTNs?
A2. Ealing LTNs were originally controlled by blocking /diverting vehicle traffic by installing in the road removable bollards and fixed planters containing soil and plants. Following the Ealing Council’s interim review of its LTNs in December 2020, it was decided to remove all the bollards and control the vehicles traffic passing through the road blocks using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. Blue Badge disabled car owners (using only one car previously registered with the Council) and public service vehicles can pass through the road blocks for free. Anyone one else transgressing will receive a £130 Penalty Charge Notice. Nine of these have now been implemented. Ealing Council says they are ’temporary measures to ensure public safety’. Statutory consultation was originally set by the Council at six months but after the interim review in this is being extended to around one year. This consultation must take place before the orders are made permanent.
Q3. What is LTN21?
A3. Ealing Council calls it ‘West Ealing South LTN’, although it includes many roads in Hanwell W7 and parts are located in Elthorne Ward. It’s an area bounded by Northfield Avenue, Hanwell Broadway/Uxbridge Road/West Ealing Broadway, Boston Road/Boston Manor Road and Swyncombe Avenue/Windmill Road. It was created on 26 August 2020 and contains 11 road blocks. More with map at:
Q4. How were residents and businesses consulted about LTN21 before it was implemented?
A4. Ealing Council implemented all of the initial LTNs (including LTN21) without consultation with either residents or businesses that could be expected to be impacted – whether positively or negatively – by these road blocks. The Council subsequently advertised an email address to which comments can be sent and provided an online consultation platform named ‘Commonplace’. We are advised these will be in place throughout the statutory consultation period.
Q5. What is CAMTAG?
A5. Coldershaw and Midhurst Traffic Action Group. The founders first met at an LTN21 street meeting on Sunday 2nd August 2020. We are all LTN21 residents.
Q6. Who were the founders of CAMTAG?
A6. Mike Jordan, Eric Leach, Peter Mason and John Townley. Peter is the main Co-ordinator and John is assistant Co-ordinator.
Q7. Is CAMTAG for or against LTN21?
A7. Our primary objective is for residents of LTN21 to have their say on whether LTN21 should become permanent or should be removed. We are not opposed in principle to well-designed traffic management schemes which improve our area, but we are against the current LTN21 scheme as it was introduced without consultation. Given that the Council has not directly asked local residents and businesses whether they want LTN21, CAMTAG intends to obtain people’s views by undertaking both online and door-to-door, face–to-face surveys.
Q8. Does CAMTAG question the legality of LTN21?
A8. Yes. We believe that in introducing LTN21 the Council did not meet its statutory obligations in terms of public safety, age and disability discrimination, potential negative impact on pollution and climate change, traffic congestion, impact on business and the impact on health, medical services and social care.
Q9. What’s CAMTAG’S Relationship with Ealing Residents Against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods?
A9. Ealing Residents Against Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (ERALTN) is a cross borough action group that was set up to challenge all Ealing LTNs. CAMTAG has a positive working relationship with ERALTN (aka OneEaling) and both of our organisations have been closely involved in the legal challenge.
Q10. Has CAMTAG instigated any of the bollard removal or tampering with road block planters?
A10. No we haven’t. We do not condone civil disobedience, and have not instigated it. However the actions of some people who may be local residents or may be other people impacted by the road blocks vividly illustrate the depth of dislike generated by these imposed changes on people’s freedom of movement, and the negative impact it is having on many residents’ daily lives.
Q11. Are the Ealing LTNs a Government, Transport for London or an Ealing Council Initiative?
A11. The Government allocated £250 million for ‘Active Travel’ (including LTNs) throughout England in May 2020. Transport for London (TfL) was contracted by Government to distribute funds to London Local Authorities (LAs).London LAs put in bids to TfL for access to these funds. Ealing Council was successful in its bid. However there was a commitment in the Ealing Labour Party’s 2018 General Election Manifesto to implement LTNs.
Q12. Won’t LTNs have a positive impact on air quality and climate change which are key objectives of the schemes?
A12. It will be very difficult to establish exactly what kind of impact LTNs will have on these parameters. No baseline air quality has been tested in any of the residential roads within LTN21. Further, by necessity, traffic has been directed onto the only two north-south main roads – Boston Manor Road/Boston Road and Northfield Avenue. And onto the only two east-west main roads which are Hanwell Broadway/Uxbridge Road/West Ealing Broadway and Swyncombe Avenue/Windmill Road. CAMTAG is unaware of any baseline air quality tests on any of these roads.
Q13. Ealing Council claims LTNs will reduce rat running. Was there a problem with rat running in the LTN 21 area?
A13. CAMTAG believes the only pre-existing rat running in the area was in the Deans Road/Montague Road/Cambridge Road neighbourhood. Our approach in conducting face to face interviews across the whole of LTN21 is to establish the views of all the residents and businesses in all the roads.
Q14. Won’t LTN21 persuade car drivers to use their cars less frequently because the road blocks will make their journeys longer and annoying?
A14. LTN21 is an experiment and it will take a few months for the change in the level of car use to establish a regular pattern. Although, with no-one knowing what any future Covid-19 response will be, any patterns might be transitory in nature. However, it is clear that many residents and their visitors will not be able to reduce their vehicle use – those who require a car for business, those making longer journeys and those who have child car responsibilities. Moreover, there are some cases where reducing journeys – by the elderly or disabled for instance - will increase social isolation. This is why CAMTAG’s detailed research of resident and business views and car usage will be covered in our two Surveys.
Q15 Doesn’t LTN21 make some roads freer of traffic and pollution but shift the traffic and the pollution onto the main roads?
A15. Yes it does. And all these main roads are also residential roads and many of them with significant pedestrian use by school children and their parents.
Q16 Will LTN21 have an impact on and subsequent delays to emergency vehicles?
A16. CAMTAG thinks this is highly likely especially with access at some constricted road block junctions. Even with the bollards removed and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras installed, it seems that the design prevents access to larger Emergency Vehicles
Q17 If some LTN21 road blocks are ’controlled’ by ANPR cameras (and bollards are officially removed) will local residents receive Penalty Charge Notices if they drive through the gap between the planters?
Q18. What has been the reaction of West Ealing residents to the imposition of LTN21?
A18. West Ealing Neighbours carried out an online survey (25 August to 6 September 2020). 71% of the 921 respondees were ‘strongly opposed’ to LTN21. WEN’s second online survey of LTN21, which ended in 6 December 2020, found that 83% of the 700 respondents were ’strongly against’.
Q19. What has been the reaction of Hanwell residents to the imposition of LTN21?
A19. Hanwell Community Forum has received complaints from Olde Hanwell residents who are having difficulty joining Lower Boston Road and Boston Road by car because of the volume of traffic and queues of traffic at various times of the day. Parents of children at St Marks Primary School in Lower Boston Road have expressed concerns about air quality and their children’s health with regular queues of traffic alongside the school. We are also aware that many residents in the streets around Montague and Deans Roads are in favour of the LTN arrangement that has been installed in their immediate area and will be interested to receive their feedback in our Surveys.
Q20. Is this a sensible time to force these significant behavioural changes onto residents and businesses when many are suffering from the Covid-19 response behavioural changes?
A20. Any reasonable person might answer no. However Ealing Council claim it is implementing its LTNs ‘to provide safe space for pedestrians and cyclists to travel, in light of reduced capacity of public transport and the need for social distancing’. In effect the Council is citing Covid-19 as its justification for the LTNs.
Q21. How do I make my views known?
A21. The main opportunity to make your voice count will be via the forthcoming CAMTAG Surveys. In the meantime, Ealing Council has provided an opportunity to comment on the “Commonplace” online platform. We believe there are significant flaws in the Commonplace software but it provides a way in which you can express your views now. You can do so by logging on at: https://ealingltn.commonplace.is/.