Why the boundary policy is wrong.
The system re-directs traffic from internal 'residential' streets, forces additional use of 'A' roads to access homes, delivery addresses, or make essential journeys in and out of the area. Within the area, traffic can also be forced drive longer distances because of internal boundaries. As a result, vehicles are added to those already using the boundaries, exposing all to additional congestion and pollution.
Despite being right next door to proposed 'LTN' streets, boundary roads are viewed by TfL and Royal Greenwich to be 'outside' the area. Residents were not consulted, and their problems are ignored and minimised. They have the least access in the area to wide pavements, open spaces, pedestrian and bike facilities, as well as everyday shops. Residents already live in a super-polluted area and will bear the brunt of the pollution fall-out and road risks of each of the new 'options' Greenwich Council has selected.
LTNs do not serve the whole community
People living on boundary roads - or close to them - are more likely to occupy social housing or private rentals. This housing is more densely populated than owner-occupied homes - which tend to be inside the LTN. Families living on A roads are likely to have lower incomes, and include more children, older and disabled people and those caring for them.
Residents experience the worst effects of pollution from traffic emissions because the boundaries carry much higher levels of traffic including large commercial vehicles. With lower car ownership, a greater proportion walk to work, school, medical appointments and shops out of necessity, and in all weathers. Loading their streets with even more traffic simply makes life more difficult and dangerous.
To improve the environment for a swathe of affluent homes, and 'encourage' walking, cycling and 'wheeling', traffic will be transferred not only to the official boundaries, but also to internal roads feeding into 'severance' points (or exits/access points) to the area.
This is wrong. To improve the environment for a swathe of affluent homes, and 'encourage' walking, cycling and 'wheeling', poorer people are bearing the cost of improving the lives of better-off owner-occupiers as a result of schemes like this one.
Supporting LTNs does not support pollution reduction, even for the minority of residents who benefit from a small reduction in traffic.
Research shows that the poor produce the least emissions, but are polluted the most, suffering the most ill-health from vehicle exhaust as well as the safety risks of negotiating busy roads. Pollution effects are imposed by the rich on the poor, increasing the vulnerability of children growing up in poverty. Young people are most susceptible to the effect of pollution, but have the least say over where they live. * https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2019.05.012
LTNs do not promote pedestrian safety and can damage it
Under the current proposals, safety measures such as pedestrian crossings, traffic inhibitors such as raised tables, and speed enforcement are not being included in the 'options' provided to the community. Forcing more traffic on to the A206 and A2 increases danger to pedestrians.
The dogma spouted by Transport for London, which funds these measures, privileges predominantly white 'cyclists' and owner occupiers living in designated 'residential' streets.
Trafalgar Road. Our banner picture shows pedestrians stranded at a floating bus stop on Trafalgar Road (A206). Behind them, the cycle-lane is empty, while traffic, including buses, dangerously jostles for space. Greenwich's decision to create the new monster East-West LTN will mean much more pressure on this busy pedestrian street. It is heavily polluted, and home to many low income flat dwellers. While the installation of TfL's cycle highway - built in 2020 - places excessive pressure on road space, few cyclists use the two-lane bike route. TfL analysis has found that cyclists are predominately white, male, aged in their 30s-50s and able to afford bikes: they are a minority demographic, taking a disproportionate share of valuable road space on Trafalgar Road and Woolwich Road. At the same time, transport users, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles are more vulnerable to overcrowding and hold-ups.
Emergency vehicles stuck in traffic are a common sight on Trafalgar Road. While delayed buses and overloaded bus-stops add to the problems confronting pedestrian shoppers and those needing public transport to get around. Many are 'active' travellers out of necessity, rather than choice.
Woolwich Road. With the addition of the huge East Greenwich area, pressure on Woolwich Road will increase. Worse, there's no major boundary road to take traffic from the majority of the Westcombe Park area under Option A (East Greenwich). Traffic accessing Woolwich Road (A206) is likely to travel via Eastcombe Avenue - currently a peaceful residential road.
Blackheath Hill (A2). The concentration of social housing on Blackheath Hill and Dabin Crescent is on the narrowest section of the A2, where two lanes of heavy traffic merge to a single lane all day long. Just a few metres separate the neighbourhood’s biggest permanent traffic jam from our largest agglomeration of social housing. Nearly 1,500 (1,430) social homes are registered on Blackheath Hill, (according to UK Social Housing). Blackheath Hill is an accident black spots, official statistics show. Although 'Experimental Traffic Orders' (ETO) are used to force through the controversial schemes, the official criteria put safety first. Pedestrians are the main victims of unsafe roads. Intensification of danger on the boundaries is unacceptable. Blackheath Hill averages 33,000 vehicles per day. The pollution effects do not stop at the roadside. A wide margin of homes on each side of the A2, A102, Trafalgar Road and Greenwich South Street experience measurable effects. Worse, traffic is also transferred to internal roads feeding into 'severance' (exits/access) roads to the area.