The independent London newspaper

We’ve seen traffic congestion for years

26 February, 2021

‘If the timely arrival of emergency vehicles is your concern, do not aim your outrage at LTNs’

• “NORMAL” time now appears like a distant thought and it is very easy to forget that many of the thoroughfares such as Camden High Street or Parkway have been congested for years – a quick look at Google Map’s “historical traffic” can be helpful if you need convincing.

Emergency vehicles have been delayed on their life-saving missions on congested highways for as long as I have been living in London.

There were not many segregated cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) back then. Evidence of a delayed emergency vehicle is routinely pointed at as a smoking gun to argue that LTNs should not be.

If the punctuality of emergency vehicles is a real concern, readers will be pleased to know that 10 of the 12 NHS ambulance trusts (the remaining two did not respond) did not oppose the roll-out of LTNs and pop-up cycle lanes.

Furthermore in the borough of Waltham Forest, where LTNs have been rolled out since 2014, they have not caused any further delays to emergency vehicles, with the average arrival time staying constant or decreasing slightly.

If the timely arrival of emergency vehicles is your concern, do not aim your outrage at LTNs.

Instead consider supporting schemes that aim to reduce motor traffic. If you are healthy and mobile think twice before taking the car. It’s easier but is it really necessary?

Camden Council have demonstrated that they are willing to tweak the schemes (as recently the southern part of Arlington Road). So engage but don’t oppose as this will not improve the arrival time of emergency vehicles



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