Cameras have gone live today replacing fixed obstacles in the form of bollards and planters at the Hills and Vales Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme in west Greenwich.
The move permits emergency services to pass through while general traffic is prohibited – for now.
In coming weeks the council are expected to permit general traffic to pass in the morning rush hour.
The move will prove controversial – much like the LTN in the first place – as it permits traffic to head past James Wolfe primary school which includes a dedicated centre for deaf children.
Signs installed to notify drivers about a scheme set up to encourage walking and cycling have been positioned making life harder for pedestrians, particularly wheelchair users:
The switch to cameras follows concern from emergency services over fixed obstacles when the project was initiated in spring 2020.
As Greenwich Council was one of just three London councils by 2020 that hadn’t sought powers to use CCTV for moving traffic violations since the power was introduced in 2005, they were unable to use cameras at the time.
They’ve since gained the required powers they failed to obtain for 15 years, which 29 of London’s 32 boroughs had previously gained.
The Hills and Vales scheme did see some consultation before the pandemic, but powers to speed up installation of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were used in order to encourage people to walk and cycle as public transport use was restricted.
While consultation wasn’t needed under the use of Experimental Traffic Orders, local authorities could still engage with the public early on in the process. Greenwich Council however failed to set up feedback websites early on in the pandemic and refused to tell the public clear details of projects they were submitting for funding, despite numerous questions from this site and others. It took Freedom of information requests to find out project details and costings.
They also failed to offer detailed plans to the emergency services:
Greenwich Council state they will soon reveal consultation results from a newer round undertaken since installation.
Their press release states:
58% of households in the area took part in the survey and 48% of respondents from within the LTN area itself were positive about the trial measures. However, there were concerns and written objections about the area being made less accessible to cars and the perceived impact on neighbouring roads such as the A2, and Maze Hill and Westcombe Park area.
We are considering the responses to the West Greenwich consultation alongside responses received to the consultation on proposed measures in East Greenwich. A decision on the next steps, including any changes to access, will be made in the coming weeks. We will also publish the full consultation results.