Maryland and Forest Gate LTNs to be permanent despite opposition
- Credit: PA
Two low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Maryland and Forest Gate are to become permanent after a trial, Newham Council has confirmed.
The Maryland and Odessa LTNs were introduced between August and October 2020 as part of a joint initiative between Newham and Waltham Forest, with one of the schemes extending into south Leytonstone.
The traffic orders stop through vehicles, with some exemptions, in a bid to reduce traffic and encourage walking and cycling.
Newham has now made the schemes permanent, set to start on February 2.
The decision has been made despite more than half of 1,172 people answering no in a consultation when asked if they wanted them to be made permanent.
Four petitions calling for their removal were also made, totalling more than 2,000 signatures.
The trial was hailed by the council, who said it had reduced the amount of traffic in both LTN areas and increased the number of cyclists.
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Cllr James Asser, cabinet member for environment, highways and sustainable transport, said: "These schemes are designed to stop drivers using our quiet residential areas as ‘rat-runs’ where vehicles cut through our neighbourhoods to avoid main roads, bringing with them pollution, congestion and road safety hazards.
“It is fantastic to see such successful outcomes from these schemes which have such a positive impact for our residents."
In the Maryland LTN, traffic fell 76 per cent compared to 2018 and 64pc on 2020, while the Odessa scheme saw a 61pc drop from 2018 and a 32pc fall from 2020 counts.
But the council admitted in a report there has been displacement of traffic to some boundary roads.
In the Maryland LTN, traffic on these streets has gone up by 19pc compared to October 2018 figures.
The authority admitted there are "challenges" relating to the impact on boundary streets and that traffic on these roads will continue to be monitored.
A spokesperson said Newham will work with residents, businesses and Transport for London on potential solutions.
There has been a small increase in bus journey times and a "negligible" change in London Fire Brigade response times, the council said.
Other potential measures being considered include more dropped kerbs for those with limited mobility and introducing a 20 miles per hour speed limit across the whole LTN area.