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Bus Industry Claims Low-Traffic Zones are Negatively Impacting Services

A letter is believed to be the first time bus operators have publicly questioned they way LTNs have been implemented.

Local councils are not ensuring Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) don’t adversely affect bus services, according to a major trade association.

In a letter to The Times Of London on Thursday, the Confederation of Passenger Transport, which represents Britain’s bus and coach operators, said that local authorities need to do more to ensure LTNs don’t affect hit bus services.

The publication reported it is the first time that bus operators have publicly questioned the way LTNs have been implemented.

In the letter, Alison Edwards, the director of policy at the confederation, wrote that: “Local transport authorities need to collaborate with operators to ensure LTNs don’t adversely affect bus services, which are already a sustainable form of transport.

“That is not always happening across the country. Many people, including those less able to walk long distances, depend upon buses every day to stay connected with the community. Passengers must be put at the heart of planning,” she said.

Ms. Edwards added that LTNs can have work in local communities but only if planned “in conjunction with viable options for active travel and public transport.”

Dramatically Slowed Down

15-minute city/net zero ideologies include LTNs, which use barriers, bollards, road signs, and planters to restrict car movements, as well as Residents’ Parking Zones (RPZs), which require a digital permit to park a car in specific areas.

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A spokesman from the Confederation of Passenger Transport pointed The Epoch Times to previous reporting by the Times Of London in December, which found that LTNs have dramatically slowed down bus times in some areas.

For example, in Streatham Wells LTN pilot, which was introduced in south London in October, in one case, a bus took 55 minutes to travel two stops when it normally takes four minutes.

A petition to reverse the scheme claims that “the bus routes are unreliable and inadequate in frequency and routing, meaning more often than not, residents have to choose their car for daily trips.”

In Bath, the council has plans to deliver 15 low-traffic neighbourhoods over the next few years.

Bath Conservative candidate Graham Pristo told The Epoch Times in February that the rollout of LTN measures had “pitted neighbour against neighbour.”

“The town needs a good public service and affordable public transport to replace it, but at the moment, buses are being cancelled at the same time cars are being taken away, the two don’t marry up,” he said.

‘Slam the Brakes’

In September, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowed to “slam the brakes” on “hare-brained schemes” such as blanket 20mph speed limits and LTNs.

“What we want to do now is make sure that all these hare-brained schemes forced on local communities, whether it is low traffic neighbourhoods, whether it is blanket 20 mile an hour speed limits, all of that… (they) need to stop,” Mr. Sunak told The Sun.

“What we want to make sure is that local communities are not having these things imposed upon them, forced on them,” he added.

In July, Transport Secretary Mark Harper suggested local authorities review “controversial” or unpopular LTNs and scrapped funding for the schemes.

The Epoch Times contacted mayor Of London, Transport for London and Local Government Association for comment.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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