Lewisham Council has announced plans to make the Lee Green Low Traffic Neighbourhood permanent.

It will put a full report to Lewisham’s mayor and cabinet on Wednesday, January 12.

Streets between Hither Green station and the Greenwich borough border were first blocked to traffic in July 2020 and in a tweet published on Tuesday, January 4 the council said restrictions will be kept in place.

Upgrades include ongoing air quality and traffic monitoring and additional environmental measures such as more green spaces and electric vehicle charging points.

 Automatic number plate recognition cameras will allow emergency services and blue badge holders access.

The cabinet recommendation follows an extensive review into the LTN that included air quality monitoring, speed checks and traffic counts.

The Lee Green LTN was initially introduced in July 2020 under Covid emergency transport measures with the aim of reducing through-traffic while also encouraging residents to walk and cycle through the area.

It was revised in November 2020 after residents raised concerns because traffic was displaced onto surrounding roads.

At the time, the Council said congestion on the nearby South Circular was not caused by the LTN but conceded the new Low Traffic Neighbourhood exacerbated congestion and the situation needed to be addressed.

Out of 7,065 survey responses, 60 per cent opposed the revised LTN while 40 per cent were in favour or neutral.

As a result, the LTN was significantly scaled back and camera-enforced barriers were introduced alongside timed closures of local streets to coincide with school drop-offs and pick-ups.

Of the Lee Green LTN becoming permanent, Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said the scheme shows the borough is taking an important step in the face of a climate emergency and contributing to the improvement of the capital’s air quality.

He said: “The world is facing a climate emergency and we urgently need to do more to improve air quality in London. By retaining the LTN and doing more to encourage residents to walk and cycle more where possible, Lewisham is taking an important step and contributing to London’s improving air quality and reducing unnecessary car journeys.

“Across the country, LTNs have divided opinion; in Lewisham, we can see that drivers are more likely to feel negatively about the LTN, while non-drivers – and half of households in Lewisham do not have access to a car - have been more positive.

“With such a split in opinion – and I’ve got friends on both sides of the argument – it is important that we go back to the evidence, the data we have available and our priorities about tackling the climate emergency, when making a decision about the future of the LTN.

“I understand some people will be disappointed by the recommendation; some people feel strongly that the LTN has gone too far, others not far enough.

"The data we’re seeing suggests that continuing with the LTN, alongside ongoing monitoring, is likely to support more positive changes and support our efforts to tackle climate change.”

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