Transport Secretary says LTNs can 'gum-up' traffic and make people’s lives 'more difficult'

13 December 2023, 10:30

Some LTNs 'gum-up' traffic, said Mark Harper
Some LTNs 'gum-up' traffic, said Mark Harper. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Asher McShane

The transport secretary has accused certain low traffic neighbourhood schemes (LTNs) of ‘gumming up’ traffic and said he wants to be able to get rid of them if they don’t have public backing.

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Mark Harper told LBC this morning that in some cases “the effect of them is to gum up traffic and stop people moving".

He said a Tory mayor of London would be able to focus on "getting London moving.”

"The effect of them is to gum up traffic and stop people moving," Mr Harper told Nick Ferrari this morning.

“My department is reviewing them.”

Mark Harper on LTNs 'gumming things up'

He said he was looking at whether central government could take steps to remove LTN’s that don’t have public support.

“On LTNs across the country we want to look at what the facts are,” he said.

“In London, the Mayor of London is primarily responsible for traffic.

“It sometimes seems that some people try to ‘gum things up’.”

Read more: Carmageddon in Streatham: Botched Low Traffic Neighbourhood leaves locals fuming, including me!

Read more: London councils spend £500,000 a year fixing vandalised LTN cameras wrecked by angry drivers

London “would be better with a Conservative Mayor,” he added.

“I want people to be able to choose what form of transport they want to use. The people in power should be trying to help them do that, not make their lives more difficult.”

His comments come after The Times reported an LTN in Streatham in London caused one bus route to take 45 minutes instead of 11 minutes prior to an LTN being put in place.

In the worst-hit areas buses can take an hour to travel two stops, according to official data.

Figures from TfL show that since the Streatham Wells LTN pilot began in October buses can take 45 minutes to travel along one of its boundary roads, a journey which used to take 11 minutes.

In one case a bus took 55 minutes to travel two stops.

Bus drivers in London are considering strike action as they are unhappy about delays caused by LTNs.

Drivers say they are being pushed to ‘breaking point’ by cycling policies that are making life on buses a misery for them.

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