Redbridge Council insists its new 'Quiet Streets' trials will not “merely shift traffic from one place to another” in response to furious objections from residents.

Trials to create low traffic neighbourhoods in Barkingside South and Cranbrook West, similar to Waltham Forest’s Mini-Holland, began this week and will last until roughly the end of the year.

Temporary barriers will direct traffic down main roads rather than residential streets in the hopes of reducing traffic problems and pollution, while improving public health.

Residents and some Redbridge Conservative councillors have objected strongly to the trials, arguing they are poorly designed and that consultation should have taken place first.

One Barkingside resident said the trial had blocked his access to his own garage, forcing him to drive a 25-minute round trip to a location 20 seconds away.

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A map showing the trials planned for this year (Redbridge Council)

Cllr John Howard (Lab, Aldborough), responsible for civic pride, said the council had “anticipated some strong views” but had also received a “range of positive comments”.

He said: “We appreciate there is a certain degree of apprehension around these measures, particularly about the displacement of traffic.

“If anything, research shows that low traffic neighbourhoods do not merely shift traffic from one place to another, but lead to an overall reduction in motor vehicle numbers.

“In a similar pilot carried out in Walthamstow village, there were 10,000 fewer vehicles every day and an overall decrease in traffic.

“The engagement boards that we’ve put up have attracted a lot of interest, and we will fully consider any feedback that we receive.”

The scheme is aimed at reducing common traffic problems like rat running and improving public health by lowering pollution and encouraging residents to walk and cycle more.

Cllr Howard added: “In other areas of London where low traffic neighbourhoods have been in place for several years, the number of households exposed to illegal levels of NO2 has reduced by 90 per cent.”

Waltham Forest’s Mini Holland scheme, which has similar aims, marked its fifth year anniversary in March last year.

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