OPEN OUR ROADS

#FreeHarrow#

Are you a Resident, a business, a visitor, or a commuter fed up with HARROW road BLOCKS?

THEN SUPPORT THE FIGHT BACK!!

 

Healthy Streets for All

 

Key Points

• Biased consultation, excluding majority of residents.

• Divided community and disadvantaged residents.

• Discriminatory practices of LTN placement.

• LTN and magical thinking.

• Blacklisted areas.

• Oversimplified Equalities Risk Assessment.

• Residents request impartial unbiased consultation.

• Residents want healthy streets for the many, not the few I watched David Attenborough’s TV programme about planet earth, and I saw how important it was to maintain biodiversity, fresh water, and clean air. I wondered how Healthy Planet ideals fit with Harrow Council’s actual plans for the placement of LTN.

Biased meetings.

We know from public records that our elected councillors had been meeting Healthy Streets activists for years (since 2018).

The Healthy Streets LTN were developed as part of a utopian philosophy, which benefited fit and healthy people, and disadvantaged Harrow residents who were disabled, had poor mobility or other health conditions.

Activists appeared to engage in magical thinking, that somehow with the arrival of LTN, all residents would miraculously become fit and healthy, and traffic removed from side streets would mysteriously disappear.

Traffic Restrictions.

The problem was, it seemed to us that elected councillors behaved in a biased manner by only talking with certain groups: in contrast Harrow residents had no impartial consultation, nor did they see any research undertaken to explore how forced restrictions imposed by LTN barriers affected their quality of life.

Harrow residents realised that placement of LTN discriminated against them. In addition, Harrow Council’s simplistic risk assessment, had no basis in reality on the streets or with our residents’ quality of life.

Residents Quality of Life.

Although they’d been meeting with activists for years, Harrow Councillors chose to use Covid as an excuse, to force their LTN agenda.

They did not have the courtesy to consult residents who lived on designated or associated streets, about LTN traffic measures and restrictions they imposed.

I could see how LTN affected residents’ quality of life, and restricted our freedom of movement along our own streets.

Equality Risk Assessment.

Residents were aware that full impact risk assessment specific to LTNs had not been completed before the introduction of LTN schemes. Equality impact assessments should record in appropriate detail specific risks associated with impacts on groups with protected characteristics.

Instead, Harrow Council’s Risk Assessment was rather simple: it considered all those with protected characteristics equally, literally according to the written word, completely missing the point of the Equality Act. The author did not assess the impacts equitably, according to who would be most affected by LTN restrictions.

Discrimination.

We know that any project which discriminates against elderly, disabled or less able residents, is in conflict with the Equality Act 2010. In addition, we understand that LTN also discriminate against residents who live along main roads, and who deserve good quality air too.

Then we ask ourselves why did the council impose LTNs which stopped residents attending their doctor, chemist, physio or local park, unless they were fit and able? Why did they set up LTN to divide our community and force the disabled, less able, or their carers to make extended journeys? We felt this was inappropriate, and not equitable.Residents want to use their own roads.

Residents believe the philosophy of promoting LTN is elitist and discriminates against certain people. For example, I am a pensioner and can only do my shopping, reach my doctor or health care provider, or a local park by car, and these days I have to make extended journeys along main roads right into Central Harrow and back out again, adding to gridlocked traffic and heightened pollution.

Divided Community Blacklisted.

LTN have divided our community. We know that residents using online services to order food or other essential products, or requesting AA assistance, or an Uber taxi to travel to essential work, find the area between the LTN04 bollards is black-listed.

Delivery drivers who use a car for safety late at night cannot reach their customers. Residents who use Uber taxis are late for work, and get reprimanded. This is not equitable. More seriously, drivers of emergency ambulances delayed by LTN, had to apologise to patients, before taking them to hospital with flashing blue lights, although we know steps were later taken to address this.

Acting Without Bias.

Residents want Harrow Council to be seen to act without bias. We want all residents to be treated fairly and equitably. We can see that any project such as LTN which manipulates traffic from side streets, and forces it onto main roads,where residents are living with their children is unfair, inappropriate, causes more air pollution, and must be stopped with immediate effect.

Residents insist on healthy air and clean environment for all, abhor the current wealth divide according to street location, and question the magical thinking that a traffic-free side-street and divided community help the planet.

What Happens Next?

As residents we know that we live in a democracy, and expect full consultation from our elected councillors. We request impartial, unbiased, independent consultation from elected representatives. We do not want to feel excluded. We expect councillors to consult with all residents, and to stop taking direct action based on talks with a select minority of activists.

All of us residents want a healthy planet with clean air and safe streets for all, but we believe that an imposed discriminatory LTN programme is not the way forward. Let’s be inclusive, remove the LTNs, begin consultation, and start working together to create progress.