Ealing Council has split a quiet residential area into four zones with roads between the different quarters closed to through traffic. The authority insists the measure will encourage people to walk or cycle on short journeys and improve air quality and road safety in the Northfields area. But locals say it has sparked traffic chaos on nearby main roads and could even prevents emergency services vehicles from getting to their destinations.
The protesters say the measures were introduced without proper consultation and have set up a campaign group to protest against the low traffic neighbourhoods (LTN).
They have also warned the schemes has proved divisive with critics and supporters involved in angry exchanges on social media.
And today demonstrators carrying placards and shouting slogans took their message of defiance to the town hall.
One of the protest organisers said: “It was successful and peaceful march today.
“This is about access to our streets. This is not anti-green or anti-cyclists.
“It was evident that shopkeepers, bus drivers, the young, the old and most of the residents of Ealing were in support.
“We would like to be consulted, not dictated to, that’s all.”
More than 7,000 people have signed a petition objecting to how the traffic-calming measures have been introduced.
Critics insist they support the council’s aims of improving air quality, road safety and cutting traffic in an area which is popular with young families but claim the road scheme is not fit for purpose.
READ MORE:Sadiq Khan savaged by Sky’s Kay Burley over London transport plans
Resident Scott Jones said: “The LTNs have been deployed without consultation of residents.
“Ealing Council has stated that their actions have been in regards to ‘future’ rat-runs.
“Why then have they not published the data in regards to ‘future’ scenarios?
“Anecdotal and documented evidence via entities ranging from the London Ambulance Service to district nurses shows that key workers were unaware of these changes; changes that have been detrimental to their work in their duty of care.
“The lack of reasoning in conjunction with supporting data in the sudden changes is concerning to all.”
The local authority insists the scheme was properly planned and introduced.
Council leader Julian Bell said: “In introducing low traffic neighbourhoods, our first priority is to do this safely.
“That’s why we’ve consulted with all of the emergency services and continue to do so.
“The bollards that we have put in – the barriers – were done so as a result of feedback from the local emergency services.
“They all have standard locks that the emergency services have keys for and have been used for years.
“We have provided all our local emergency services with additional keys to make sure they have access.”