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A note of caution on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and inequalities

15 October, 2020

• THERE has been a great deal of talk about the introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in Camden and I just want to add a note of caution.

We must ensure that in the very worthwhile pursuit of clean air and reduced car use, that we are not creating additional problems for the less fortunate.

As a councillor who has two major roads as the east and west boundaries of my ward, that is, Finchley Road and Shoot-up Hill / Crickle­wood Broadway / Kilburn High Road, I would like to point out there are huge numbers of people living on these roads (at one point Finchley Road was the most densely populated street in Camden).

This is in addition to those who use these roads to shop or visit doctors or attend the numerous schools and nurseries on or close to these major routes.

Furthermore, many of these residents are not housed in neat terraces with gardens along tree-lined streets, but in blocks of flats with little or no outside space.

In our haste to make the former “liveable” we must not be guilty of disadvantaging the latter by ever increasing levels of traffic, pollution and noise.

Please let us not, in our sincere attempts to curb the traffic menace, forget those who are not so fortunate and who are already exposed to extremely high traffic. This is a basic inequality and should be carefully considered in the balance.

This potential inequality is what brought me into politics in the first place, many years ago when similar wholesale schemes (Environmental Areas / Residential Zones) were proposed by local authorities and later dropped.

Nevertheless I have always applauded the idea of making all our streets more liveable for everyone and I sincerely trust we will do better this time!

Liberal Democrat,
Fortune Green ward


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