Local authorities backtrack on closing roads to cars

Government-funded schemes to only allow pedestrians and cyclists on certain roads have been reversed in some areas following a backlash

Local authorities have backtracked on closing roads to cars after protests from members of the public.

A £250 million Government-backed scheme allowing councils deny drivers access to certain roads in a bid to encourage walking and cycling has been implemented in a number of areas across the country, most prominently in London.

However, following complaints from residents, various local authorities have decided to end or cancel these schemes. One example is the London Borough of Harrow that has now cancelled four low-traffic neighbourhood schemes it had planned.

The plans there “had not been particularly thought through”, Harrow Conservatives leader Cllr Paul Osborn told the Telegraph. “There’s no real demand from residents. Lots are, in fact, against the schemes. So they just end up being taken away anyway, and wasting a lot of money in the meantime,” he added.

Councils in Herefordshire and Sheffield have also reversed policy on this - the latter closed one lane in each direction on its A61 ring road to create a cycle lane going either way, but the road is now being reverted to its original layout.

Brighton and Hove, meanwhile, has seen more than 2,700 residents sign a petition to remove the area’s newly installed cycle lanes, rather than install further ones. The creators of this petition claim the council’s policy “will inevitably destroy local businesses and the town in general”.

Motorists drive closer to bikes in cycle lanes than on roads...

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