The Conservative candidate for the London Mayor has become the latest voice to weigh in on Crystal Palace’s traffic furore, pledging a temporary ban on the low traffic networks (LTNs) which have drawn outrage and fury in London’s south-east if elected.
The promise by Shaun Bailey on Tuesday came as he launched a campaign to suspend the use of LTNs over what he cited as an “initial lack of consultation and the unforeseen negative effects” they have had across the capital.
It’s the latest development in the cross-border bust-up, which started after Croydon Council blocked three roads with planters around the Crystal Palace triangle as part of a city-wide Transport for London initiative to encourage higher rates of walking and cycling amid the city’s pandemic recovery.
And while the measures have been praised in some corners for doing just that, they’ve also drawn fury across the council boundary at Bromley – with angry businesses and locals saying the blockages have caused traffic and congestion to back up for miles around the borough.
“The Mayor’s job is to cut congestion and clean up our air. But Sadiq Khan’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are making both worse,” Mr Bailey said.
“Sadiq Khan pushed councils to introduce LTNs without ever giving residents a say.
“As mayor, I’ll only introduce LTNs if a clear majority of residents want them. And I’ll take sensible decisions to cut congestion and clean up our air.”
The intervention comes as anger continues to shimmer over a lack of consultation on the measures with Bromley residents.
While the borough’s Labour contingent – for whom Crystal Palace is a stronghold – have pursued a joint council-solution with Croydon, Bromley’s Tory leadership have threatened legal action and have urged Mayor Khan and transport secretary Grant Shapps to personally intervene to remove the barriers.
Elsewhere in south London, a LTN in Wandsworth was removed after continued anger and concerns over its impact on emergency services, while northern neighbours Greenwich have doubled down on a controversial LTN on the west-side of the borough.