Two Thirds of Businesses oppose LTN
An article in the Birmingham Mail has reported that a poll of businesses located on York Rd, Kings Heath have said that they are opposed to the LTN scheme.
The poll, undertaken by a local business owner, found that two thirds of businesses opposed the LTN roadblocks, with a small number in support, and a few neutral. Some businesses mentioned the difficulty they are having in receiving large deliveries of stock, saying that they are having to carry it far up the street rather than delivered straight to their door.
High streets are already struggling, reeling from the necessary restrictions to normal life imposed by the pandemic, but the launching of the LTN scheme is now making the economic recovery more challenging as many shoppers, used to buying everything online, neglect local businesses which has its knock-on effects on local employment.
A recent article in The Times reported that low traffic zones end up forcing traffic and therefore pollution onto poorer streets, rather than increasing the number of busy parents and workers who choose to take to their bicycles.
The article also exposed how the LTN schemes have artificially inflated the house prices of middle class homes:
“Average property prices within the new zones are up to 70 per cent higher than on the roads that surround them, it found.
The figures will fuel concerns that the policy of sectioning off certain areas of cities to through traffic is dividing communities and disproportionately benefiting middle-class homeowners.”
There has been no updates about the rollout or future plans for the LTN in Kings Heath or the next trial zone in Lozells, though Kings Heath and Brandwood Labour councillor Lisa Trickett has tweeted about the LTN, certifying it as a success before the trial has even been completed.
Following the first lockdown in March, councils took advantage of emergency legislation and central government funding to introduce LTNs, usually without any local consultation. In London alone, at least 96 such schemes were introduced between March and December. In Birmingham Cllr Lisa Trickett and her colleagues jumped at the chance for government funding. Though in December 2020, in response to a FOI request Birmingham City Council admitted to having spent just £250,000 of the £1.6 million allocated.