London council takes down document with LTN plans after admitting it was an ‘error’

By Staff

A London council has taken down a document from its website it says mistakenly referred to plans for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) after admitting it had been uploaded ‘in error’. Westminster City Council said it had no plans to implement LTNs and said the document was meant to refer to Neighbourhood Traffic Management Schemes, which it says are different.

The document, known as the draft infrastructure delivery plan, had been recently uploaded to the council’s website. It outlined infrastructure plans for the Central London borough. Within it are two mentions of LTNs, which had been crossed out and replaced with ‘Neighbourhood Traffic Management’ schemes, a review by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) found.

The references appear under a section called ‘active travel’, next to columns appearing to suggest current and planned ‘provisions’ for the London borough of Westminster. The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) understands the document was in the early stages of being reviewed and should not have been on the website.

READ MORE: Residents fear return of LTNs as ‘cut-through’ road could close after ‘near misses’

The LDRS also understand the webpage containing the document will also be taken down as it, too, was mistakenly published.

A council spokesperson said: “The draft document was published in error and has now been removed. The council will be launching a consultation in due course and we welcome feedback from residents.”

The plan, which is currently open to public consultation, outlines what infrastructure is needed to support new development in Westminster across the short and long term, the document states. The document feeds into the borough’s City Plan and the council’s Fairer Westminster Strategy. It is dated March 2024.

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Leader of the opposition, Paul Swaddle, suggested the blunder showed the council had been considering LTNs, adding they were not mentioned in a previous plan. He said: “I would like to thank Local Democracy Reporting team for uncovering these secret plans to introduce LTNs by the back door by just renaming them.

“Residents will be rightly worried that yet again this administration like Sadiq Khan appears to be anti-car, and not willing to listen.” The LDRS understands an LTN involves a targeted reduction of traffic by restricting vehicles on specific roads whereas a neighbourhood traffic management scheme is any project involving road safety and environmental improvements; from dropped kerbs and dockless bikes, to EV charging and improving air quality.

It comes as the Department for Transport said councils will need the support of local communities before introducing an LTN from this summer. The Department published guidance for councils and warned those who fail to follow it risk having future funding withdrawn and control of an authority’s roads taken away, according to a report by Sky News.

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