As Liberal Democrats, we are firmly committed to protecting the environment, and tackling pollution and congestion. Liberal Democrats also want to make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle. Where appropriately designed and in proper consultation with the local community, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods can help achieve those goals.
However, in Dulwich specifically, we do not support the LTN measures in their current form for several reasons. We do not believe that the process for their introduction, as well as the consultation with residents, was fair and meaningfully involved those affected. While some residents felt very engaged with the council, most people felt that these road closures and cameras were imposed on them using emergency legislation, without genuine consultation and engagement.
While some roads have benefited by an improvement in air quality, we know that the reverse is true for a number of other roads in the area. We are concerned that the measures are not providing an overall benefit to the area and are instead leading to longer car journeys as people navigate the road restrictions, and pollution being moved from one part of the area to another, as seen through the unacceptable levels of congestion on Croxted Road and East Dulwich Grove, for example.
We also know that the current measures are having a detrimental impact on local businesses and have led to longer times for emergency vehicles and carers to reach people.
We believe that the Labour Council and councillors have not listened or properly engaged with the local community, and that the measures have turned residents against each other and divided the community.
As a result, we would fight to scrap the current LTN measures in Dulwich and replace them with alternative, fairer and evidence-led measures which would be co-created with residents and local businesses. We would want to see an independent third party conduct a fair and comprehensive consultation as to what those measures should be, which puts residents at the heart of decision making on this issue.
We would also fight to ensure that all the money raised to date from fines raised by cameras in the area is reinvested back into the local community.