London council elections: Ealing candidates split over controversial low-traffic areas

Candidates for local elections in a west London town are spread over controversial low-traffic areas in the borough. Since their introduction to Ealing in 2020, the low-traffic neighborhoods have proved divisive among residents, so much so that seven of the nine brought in were removed just over a year later.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, representatives of the five largest parties revealed how they will tackle LTNs after the May 5 local elections. Peter Mason, leader of the Ealing Labor Party and current council leader, said the party had learned its lesson after failing to consult residents on the LTNs before they were introduced almost two years ago.

The LTNs at Adrienne Avenue and Deans Road/Montague Avenue would remain, but Labor would not introduce any new programs without asking the public first. He said: “We have made a categorical and unshakeable guarantee that we will never do any program in the future unless we can get the support of the residents.”

READ MORE:Calendar of local elections 2022: Key dates and deadlines for the next five weeks

Ealing’s Conservative Party, however, is strongly opposed to LTNs. Calling them ‘counterproductive at worst’, chef Gregory Stafford said: ‘What I want to see is a proper discussion across the borough on how we can all work to reduce pollution and pollution. congestion without hammering the motorist, through encouragement rather than punishment.”

The Conservatives promised 2,000 new electric car charging stations and would consult with residents on other ways to reduce pollution in the borough. The borough’s Liberal Democrats pledged to reconsider the need for the two LTNs if passed on May 5 and would not introduce any new measures without public consultation.

Leader Gary Malcolm said the party wanted to encourage residents to walk and cycle and would fix sidewalks and make parks more attractive to fix that. The party would also install more air monitors in the borough to monitor air pollution levels. Malcolm said:[New schemes] will only be implemented if there has been consultation. And that would be done in an open and transparent manner.

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For Ealing’s Green Party, responding to the climate emergency is at the heart of its manifesto. Its local leader, Neil Reynolds, said: “We are in a climate emergency, we need to reduce our emissions, and it continues to reduce the number of car journeys we make.” Citing the need to be honest with the people of Ealing, Reynolds said the Green Party would introduce referendums for traffic calming measures on roads which have more than 2,000 car movements a day.

It would also introduce air quality monitoring in every school in the borough, introduce measures to reduce traffic where pollution levels are too high, and create an environmental budget for the council to help it achieve its “net zero” objectives. For the Ealing Independent Network, it is essential to encourage people to walk, reduce air pollution and ensure that LTN traffic is not pushed to other areas.

Representative David Marsden said: “I think people actually want clean streets, they want a better place to live, they want a better offer from the council in terms of development.”

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