Residents have criticized their local council after road closures made their lives miserable – sparking bitter neighborhood disputes.
Locals in Streatham, south London, are furious after learning they will be banned from four streets in their neighborhood.
The decision outraged homeowners who fear restricted access would result in hellish commute times.
Others fear elderly residents unable to travel by public transport will become isolated and cut off from the community.
The move is part of the £450,000 traffic restrictions imposed by Lambeth Council on the Streatham Wells Low Traffic Neighborhood (LTN).
The council aims to reduce pollution in the area, reduce car traffic on the road and create a safer environment for cyclists.
However, some residents say it’s just another blow after being told they’d face a daily fee of £12.50 if ULEZ expands.
Local mother Vicky Brain previously told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the closures could prevent her disabled daughter from going to school.
“It’s going to limit our lives significantly if we get the restricted traffic area,” she said, as reported by MyLondon.
“This means my daughter will not be able to participate in educational and extracurricular activities.”
Another angry neighbor, Nyasha Oliver, added: “Some of my neighbors are disabled and their carers have to take cars.”
She feared that vulnerable people on the street would not “be able to go where they needed to go”.
However, the council report says all blue badge holders will be granted access through the closed roads, in addition to buses, ambulance services, garbage trucks and taxis.
Still, one homeowner claimed the decisions sparked “bitter” neighborhood fighting within his WhatsApp group.
But the local resident said she was “on the fence” about further road closures.
“I don’t drive, so it won’t affect me,” she continued.
“I can see where the advocates are coming from. I get annoyed when cars drive at ridiculous speeds here because of my children.”
“But I also lived on a street in another county where traffic was being diverted because of an LTN and that was a problem.”
It will severely limit our lives if we get the traffic-free neighborhood.”
Others, however, are not concerned about the upcoming changes and think it is “overall a positive move”.
Will Hadley, 35, said: “As a driver I have to drive to work and I can’t avoid having road sections cut off my route.”
“But if that adds three minutes to my drive, that’s not so bad because reducing pollution and traffic is a good thing.”
And the council said closures will only be enforced in court for 18 months before permanent decisions are made.
It is funded by TfL and the Council, who are donating £120,000 and £330,000 respectively.
Councilor Rezina Chowdhury, cabinet member for clean air, said: “These proposals will result in significant improvements in road safety and air quality, giving people more space to enjoy their neighborhood without worrying about congestion and exhaust fumes.”
“The proposed Streatham Wells LTN, as well as the other improvements, show that we are taking bold steps to address issues such as traffic hazard, toxic air quality and climate resilience.”
“We’ve been listening to the community for more than two years to ensure these proposals strike the right balance between reducing overall traffic and supporting people where they live or work, and will continue to solicit feedback as we continue.” .”