Protest groups join forces to warn motorists of new LTN and fines enforced by the Council
Few topics have engaged the community quite as much as the controversial Lower Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) road closures. As the Council continues its rollout of new road closures, more and more people are experiencing the upheaval ranging from exorbitant fines to the vulnerable and their carers being isolated unable to use their roads. The fact that the emergency services are experiencing delays when every second is essential to the success of their life-saving work shows the callous arrogance of Islington’s Labour Council.
Last week three different groups protesting the road closures (LRC – Ludacris Road Closures, We Are Islington and the Islington Conservatives) joined forces to warn motorists of the fines they will incur if they continue to use Cross Street, where enforcement cameras have been installed. Motorists can expect to receive a £65 fine, should they pay within 14 days, after which the fine doubles to £130. The Islington Conservatives received an email from a local resident who incurred fines over Christmas whilst trying to attend a relative who’d taken a fall, offering a very fair and reasonable alternative.
“I also have major issues with roads that are closed to vehicles and have enforcement cameras in place.
When I am driving my eyes are firmly on the road not looking 10 feet in the air to see if I can use a road or not.
I would like to see the Council send a warning letter first about not using a road and after that send a fine. The Council needs to be fair to motorists and not think about how much revenue they can make from the motorised.”
Residents and protest groups have exhausted lines of communication trying to get the Council to reverse the road closures. Emails, petitions, public demonstrations and even motions being raised by an opposition Councillor have fallen on deaf ears. One of the main criticisms is the lack of transparency in the consultation process. A Freedom of Information request made in October has confirmed that the scheme has received 75% negative feedback from residents, yet still, the Council insists on continuing with the scheme and implementing further LTN road closures.
The latest road closures are Halton Road, Braes Street, Hawes Street and Cross Street. These were quietly announced prior to Christmas and just after the public demonstration outside the town hall, supporting Conservative Councillor Rakhia Ismail, who was presenting a motion asking the Council to reverse the LTN Road Closures. Whilst Councillor Ismail presented her motion, cheers from the crowds outside echoed through the chamber “VOTE THEM OUT”. Even with this public outcry, the Council had the arrogance to ignore both the public demonstrations and the motion – instead of pushing forward with yet more road closures.
The only positive outcome of the LTN scheme is how it is uniting various groups within the borough against the common enemy of the uncontested Labour Council. As the democratic routes for communicating dissatisfaction are exhausted and unacknowledged, Labour will only have themselves to blame when they are voted out in the upcoming May Local Elections. The people of Islington know they deserve better, and they will make it clear at the ballot box.