Transport Secretary pledges local residents will be consulted over traffic schemes

13 November 2020, 08:29

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has told LBC that local residents and traders will get to have an input on future traffic schemes.

He said the Government wished to promote "active travel" to encourage more people to walk or cycle.

The Government has announced it will give councils across England a further £175 million to create safe space for cycling and walking as surveys and independent polls show strong public support for high-quality schemes.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari the Transport Secretary admitted that some of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes introduced by councils "were not up to spec."

"Much of it was very well spent and has been welcomes, but I have to say there were some schemes which were not up to spec."

He said in some areas councils simply "came along and put plastic bollards up."

"It doesn't help anybody to make traders lives harder."

The Transport Secretary pledged there would be "checks in place" to ensure schemes "actually work for the local community."

He told LBC that locals would be asked before new measures were put in place.

As part of the Transport Secretary’s plan to ensure councils develop schemes that work for their communities, he has set out they must:

-publish plans to show how they will consult their communities, including residents, businesses and emergency services, among others

-show evidence of appropriate consultation prior to schemes being implemented

-submit monitoring reports on the implementation of schemes 6-12 months after their opening, highlighting how schemes have been modified based on local feedback to ensure they work for communities

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods have come under fire from many local residents and business owners after the schemes were imposed with little consultation.

They are supposed to reduce pollution, and encourage more walking and cycling, and are championed by the Department for Transport, which has provided the funding to many local councils.

But they are having all sorts of unplanned effects, not least of which is an impact on the responses of emergency vehicles.

Bollards and plant pots have been erected on key roads in the middle of London, but are not marked on any maps or sat navs. As a result, they are obstructing all sorts of traffic, including ambulances.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We want to do everything we can to make it easy for people to include some activity in their daily routines – whether that’s cycling to work or walking safely to school."

"We can see the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel, and this funding will help ensure the right infrastructure is in place to build"