Dear Rt Hon David Lammy
We are writing in response to your article in the Haringey Community Press (15/12/22).
We understand you have received complaints about the new low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Haringey.
We hope you have also had letters of support?
This is a letter of support from all the groups listed below, representing several thousand members in Haringey, who have been campaigning long and hard for these measures to make it safer to walk and cycle across the borough.
We can understand your concerns about the temporary displacement of traffic. Hopefully the recent Imperial report will reassure you that in time traffic and pollution will decrease. Also we urge you to keep in mind that the majority of Haringey residents do not own a car, especially those from lower income families in the east of the borough as compared with the west, yet areas like Tottenham are blighted with traffic and road casualties as seen in TFLs Strategic Network Analysis.
We know you have been strongly committed to action on reducing traffic as you stated at the climate rally (COP26) LTNs are one of the very few proven methods to achieve the necessary decarbonisation of transport. Our neighbours (Islington, Hackney and Camden) are ahead of us on measures to reduce car use and enable modal shift – so this is a long awaited action from Haringey Council. It is a change that must occur.
We urge you to support the fact that:
- It takes 9 months for the schemes to bed in and for behaviours to transition towards healthier ones – our council need all the support they can get to hold their nerve during this time. We support adjustments to the schemes based on the data/evidence once it is in.
- People will threaten to not vote for you and a small minority might not but in the long term, all will benefit and will not want a return to what was there before and the silent majority will applaud you for backing green measures.
- We need 24/7 bus lanes (Green Lanes, West Green Road, Tottenham High Road) as the most immediate intervention. We need to support more return to public transport over private car use. Enabling sustainable, cheap travel for all does mean rebalancing road space.
- ‘Traffic flow’ is not the measure by which we must measure success. Modal shift is the real measure of meaningful change – politicians need to be brave enough to say this.
- We need a local regeneration, place-making movement that focuses on 15 min cities (whereby public transport, shops and services are reachable within 15 mins of walking or cycling). We want vibrant local communities, but these need designing and funding. Your help to bring energy and a sense of purpose to this business transformation would be of great and long term benefit.
Our coalition for safer streets made a recent press statement. You can read more about our vision here.
We are concerned that amongst genuine concerns, there are some ‘bad faith actors’, working across boroughs, attacking any measures to reduce car use and tackle climate change and air pollution in our city.
We invite you to walk or ride with us in 2023 across the three new connected LTN areas, so we can show you that it is now possible to commute from Enfield to Haringey on a bike – this previously felt too dangerous for most people.
Finally, through the LTNs, our council is – at long last – acting on the pressing and urgent issues of our time: climate change, nature loss, toxic air pollution, road user reprioritization, and road safety.
Haringey Coalition for Safer Streets
Haringey Living Streets
Haringey Cycling Campaign
Haringey Climate Forum
Tottenham and Wood Green Friends of the Earth
Extinction Rebellion Haringey
Haringey Labour Climate Action