164 public questions were submitted to the Lewisham Council meeting on 21 October and a majority of these were about the LTN. It should be noted that all references but one to the Liberal Democrats (in the context of our survey report) were replaced by 'a political party'! The Council held a public consultation meeting by zoom on 22 October, which unfortunately turned into a public information exercise. Feedback suggests that few people were happy with the written answers supplied or with explanations given at both events, although some interesting facts emerged, the most shocking being the sum of £3 million which the Council has already taken in fines from the camera-enforced filters.
Lobbying by the Lib Dems and others resulted in the Mayor acknowledging that the scheme was not working as planned, and some changes to the LTN have been announced, which will be implemented from 9 November. It is proposed to open up the camera filter in Manor Lane to all traffic except for HGVs, and to make the Leahurst, Ennersdale and Dermody Road filters one way so that traffic will be able to travel from Hither Green towards Lee Green but not in the opposite direction. This may alleviate some of the traffic congestion on Hither Green Lane and the South Circular, but will not answer the concerns of Lee Green residents whose access to the hospital is impeded by road closures, or who have felt trapped in their homes. We fear there will probably be increased speeding in the area as a result of these changes. The Council's general position is that car use must be reduced overall and they will therefore not countenance introducing exemptions to allow local residents to pass through filters without being fined.
We are continuing our dialogue with the Council but if you wish to write to the councillor who is specifically responsible for traffic and the environment then please direct your comments to [email protected].