The LTN goal
LTNs create exclusive enclaves in which motor vehicle traffic is suppressed through road restrictions. This is with a view to strongly encouraging active travel.
All roads within these LTN enclaves are still accessible to vehicles, but for many journeys drivers now have to drive via longer and much more circuitous routes to reach their destinations.
Emergency vehicles, council buses and council refuse lorries are still allowed to drive within LTN enclaves via the most direct routes, as before.
The Council’s hope is that the added difficulty in now making a journey will put people off driving, and thus reduce the number of motor vehicles on the roads.
The reality is that people will still wish to and will still need to drive, for a whole host of very valid reasons, and they will still do so. With reduced motor vehicle access into and within the LTN enclaves all or part of their journeys will be pushed out onto the local main roads.
In simply pushing traffic and pollution and onto others, and restricting road access not just for cut-through drivers but also for drivers who live in Highbury and/or support our community, these schemes have done more harm than good.
In addition the much longer journey now required, to circulate all around the long LTN boundary roads, instead of going by a direct route, is having a widespread negative personal impact on many people who rely on motor vehicle transport, including the elderly and the disabled and local businesses.
We can't and don't support preventing residents, and those who contribute to the Highbury community, from taking the most direct route when making motor vehicle journeys to and from Highbury.
The bigger picture
We support a considered and managed approach to addressing pollution - we note the electric car initiative and the ULEZ programme that are both being rolled out.
We would embrace any initiative that properly explores obstacles to walking, wheeling and cycling - i.e. a structured initiative to support viable and sustainable positive change (see for example the recommendations from Transport for All in their recently published Pave the Way report).
We embrace the principles of democracy, democratic process, and fairness. We would welcome proper consultation and collaboration with the Council, and with others, to consider more sustainable and more viable ways of supporting active travel and reducing traffic and pollution.
We would support a solution that doesn’t involve just pushing traffic out of one location and into another, and properly meets the very real and varied transport needs across the spectrum of our community.
Our proposed solution provides a reasonable middle ground compromise that will go some way towards addressing some of the problems and issues that the Highbury LTNs have brought with them, whilst at the same time retaining some of the benefits.
Camera-enforced traffic filters operating at peak traffic times only, thus keeping traffic that is not connected to Highbury out at peak times, while allowing drivers to travel freely within Highbury at times when there is reduced volume.
Traffic filter cameras to be switched off on weekends and on bank holidays, there being no cut-through traffic concerns relating to school spaces and commuter traffic at these times.
ANPR camera fine exemption at all times for people with disabilities, Highbury businesses, Highbury residents and all licenced drivers of passenger transport vehicles
Option to purchase 'Connected Visitor' day permit.
Benefits of our Proposal
ANPR that allows identified drivers who are connected to Highbury to drive within Highbury at all times without being fined will allow connected drivers to once again move freely around our local area, will help keep journeys shorter and will ease displaced traffic and pollution on our already congested main roads.
Allowing free circulation of traffic at non-peak times would correspondingly ease traffic pressure on already very busy main boundary roads.
These straightforward adjustments would reasonably moderate some of the harm caused by the ‘all or nothing’ approach that prevails under the existing LTN schemes.
It’s a simple compromise that still helps to deliver lower levels of traffic across the streets of Highbury, but at the same time better meets vehicle travel needs for a wide range of local people, and reasonably and more fairly balances competing interests for the active travel idyll of the few.