Conservative group attacks council decision on traffic measures

Group leader hits out after refusal to abolish Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

Commenting on Birmingham City Council’s announcement that the controversial low traffic neighbourhoods will not be scrapped, despite opposition from affected residents and businesses, Councillor Robert Alden, Leader of the Birmingham City Council Conservative Group (pictured) said: “These low traffic neighbourhoods are a failed experiment rushed through without proper consultation with the people who properly understand these roads. It has caused misery for residents on surrounding roads that have been clogged up with polluting vehicles in stationary traffic and fear for businesses already pushed to the brink by the pandemic.

“Quick fixes are not what is required but a fundamental rethink that puts genuine improvements in place based on a deep understanding of the local area, not vanity gimmicks that promise cleaner air and safer travel but deliver the exact opposite.

“It is particularly concerning that the Council continue to refuse to install pollution monitoring equipment in LTN’s despite videos of increased traffic and pollution being widely shared on social media. This cannot continue and the Council need to start actually monitoring the impact of their policies rather than ignoring residents pleas”.

LTNs were introduced in various locations across the city under emergency powers granted during the pandemic that by passed the need for proper consultation, but that emergency legislation expired at the beginning of May.

Cllr Ewan Mackey, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group said: “It was never the Government’s intention that the much-needed flexibility they granted to allow councils to respond to an unprecedented situation would be misused in this way, particular at such a big cost to the public purse.

“But regardless, those temporary powers have now expired and it is not at all clear how the council can be said to have carried out the genuine consultation required under the permanent regulations now back in place when you consider how they seem to have ignored all the concerns raised and ploughed ahead with making permanent changes that have caused chaos in our suburbs.”