Low Traffic Neighbourhoods have 'made it harder' for police to respond to emergencies

14 May 2021, 11:08 | Updated: 14 May 2021, 11:10

Are LTNs slowing down the emergency services?

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has told LBC - low traffic neighbourhoods have on occasion made policing in London more difficult.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari on her regular Call the Commissioner show, Dame Cressida Dick revealed her officers have, "on occasion" been slowed down by the traffic calming measures.

The Commissioner said there was a desire to "reduce the number of road deaths to zero" and also make the capital safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Read more: The challenges faced by the Met Police's Violence Suppression Unit

She told LBC she was "aware that measures designed to do all those things can, and do slow down all traffic."

Nick Ferrari directly asked, "are they hindering your officers?"

In response, the Commissioner said: "On occasion, of course, it is harder for our officers to get through streets and roads that they previously could get through much faster."

She told LBC's Nick Ferrari on Friday: "What is trying to be balanced for our city is, on the one hand, this great desire in 'vision zero' to reduce the number of road deaths to zero, to make this a city in which people are safer to walk and cycle, and to also improve our environment.

"In a sense, the latter is not for me. But I am aware that these measures, which are designed to do all those things, can and do slow down all traffic, and they deter people from driving, and that's part of the point.

"But, on occasion, it is of course harder for our officers to get through streets and roads that they could previously get through much faster.

"I am looking at it carefully and, on occasion, we will have a conversation with Transport for London to point out where a particular thing will cause real difficulties."

Met Police Commissioner reacts to her officer's comments on LTNs

The question comes after LBC's Senior Reporter Matthew Thompson spent a shift with a Met Police Violence Suppression unit who said their work had been hampered by the LTNs.

Local roads have been closed off in some boroughs as part of efforts to tackle congestion, pollution and improve road safety.

Dame Cressida Dick says the force will speak to Transport for London, where the LTNs are causing real difficulties during emergencies.

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