Scandal-hit Labour council accused of closing roads for ‘themselves and wealthy’ pals

Labour Conference 2021: Chair 'curtailing debate' says guest

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Like many councils across London, Lambeth Borough Council has introduced Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to reduce road danger, encourage sustainable transport and improve air quality. But many people living in the borough have accused the Labour-run council – which came under fire in July when an independent inquiry found that hundreds of children were abused in its care – of using the schemes for their own ends.

There are currently five trial LTNs in place under Experimental Traffic Orders and they could be made permanent, subject to consultation.

Lambeth Conservative Councillor Tim Briggs claimed that many residents are opposed to the schemes – claiming that they displace traffic onto other roads – creating gridlock and actually increasing pollution.

He also argued that the council refuses to collect data for the roads around the road closures which are most affected by extra traffic.

Mr Briggs also said that the roads where much of the traffic is pushed onto tend to house people on lower incomes.

He told Express.co.uk: “These ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ road closures are effectively the Labour councillors privatising roads for themselves and their wealthy friends.

“At the last count 16 Labour councillors lived within these areas closed off from traffic. They are the Left-wing metropolitan elite.

“Meanwhile next-door Conservative Wandsworth has removed all its Low Traffic Neighbourhoods after 84 percent of residents said they wanted them gone.

“But Labour councillors in Lambeth refuse to ask residents the same kind of direct question.

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“No Conservative council in the country has kept these road closure schemes, instead focusing on other ways to encourage walking and cycling.

“The ‘cover-up culture’ of misleading residents is entrenched in Lambeth.

“For example, the Labour council doesn’t collect data on the roads most affected by road closures, so they can say that closing roads has improved air quality.

“Even then, they twist the data they actually collect to get the outcome they want, and the surveys are all leading questions to get the result they want.

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“You would have thought that after the national shame of children in the care of Lambeth being sexually and physically abused for decades, Labour councillors would want to start completely afresh in terms of how they do things, and formally commit themselves to being honest and open about how they do things.

“Not a bit of it. They now spend £2.5million of public money on spin doctors and propaganda to keep themselves in power. Lambeth deserves better.”

Writing for The Times, Lambeth Councillor Danny Adilypour, cabinet member for Sustainable Transport, Environment and Clean Air, said: “It’s fair to say the introduction of these trials led to a strong reaction, both from those passionately supportive of the measures and those vehemently opposed.

“That’s why in Lambeth we continued with all five of our low traffic neighbourhood trails so we can properly monitor whether they are achieving their objectives.”

Express.co.uk has contacted Lambeth Borough Council for further comment.

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