Scrap the LTNs: 240 ambulances were delayed by low traffic schemes
New figures show nearly 240 ambulances were delayed from reaching potentially life-threatening callouts due to the dangerous and "climate-change" based fear mongering low traffic schemes.
Experts said the recorded incidents would be 'the tip of the iceberg' as they relate only to London and there are hundreds more low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in other cities. It is also believed that not all incidents were recorded.
The disclosure comes amid a growing revolt against the controversial schemes and a raft of other anti-car measures such as clean air zones being imposed across the country.
Angry (Muslim, apparently) residents in Rochdale launched a rebellion by setting LTNs there alight. The vigilantes set fire to a number of planters that were used to close roads just hours after they were installed last week.
A series of incidents over LTNs has also been reported in Oxford since being launched.
Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in and around the city in a bid to have the schemes ditched.
There is also opposition to established or planned schemes in Hereford, Brighton, Bath, St Andrews, Jesmond in Newcastle upon Tyne, Warrington in Cheshire, Southsea in Portsmouth and Leith in Edinburgh.
Many councils have hailed LTNs as a success in tackling congestion and pollution, with 300 already set up or planned nationwide.
The schemes include pop-up cycle lanes, wider pavements and closing streets to cars while policing the new rules with warning signs, CCTV cameras and fines for drivers breaking them.
But critics say they are often poorly thought out, built at short notice with little consultation and accuse council chiefs of using them as 'cash cows' to clobber motorists.
Dozens have been torn up after councils pressed ahead with them – wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds – despite local opposition.
The new figures, released to The TaxPayers' Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act, show 239 ambulances have been delayed from reaching callouts since 2020.
The London borough with the most recorded delays was Southwark, with 69, followed by Enfield (43) and Ealing (19).
Among the recorded incidents was an ambulance being delayed in east London for up to 15 minutes while trying to reach a patient who had collapsed from cardiac arrest.
The emergency vehicle was blocked by flower planters and then a new one-way system as part of an LTN which was not yet logged on the ambulance's sat-nav.
An ambulance attending a 'life-threatening' call in Lewisham, south London, was also delayed by four minutes due to an LTN.
And paramedics had to wait 20 minutes to reach a patient who had collapsed in an alleyway in Ealing, west London, due to bollards blocking the road and a new one-way system as part of an LTN created three days earlier.
However, a London Ambulance Service insider said they believed not all incidents were logged on the force's Datix system, partly because they must be manually recorded and not all incidents are reported by paramedics at the end of a long and busy shift.
Millions of pounds have been handed to councils for creating LTNs as part of a Government promise, made by then Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to spend £2billion by 2025 on cycle lanes and encouraging other forms of active travel such as walking by 2025.
There is also growing anger at the expansion of clean air zones.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is planning to expand the capital's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover the whole of Greater London despite warnings it will hit the poorest and self-employed the hardest.
At least 200,000 older, more polluting vehicles will be clobbered with a £12.50 daily charge by the expansion, in August.
It will add at least £250 to the monthly cost of commuting for workers who need to drive, such as in-home care workers or self-employed van drivers. Many can't afford to buy a new, cleaner vehicle to avoid the charges.
And there are also clean air zones in Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Portsmouth, Sheffield and Tyneside. One is also being considered for Greater Manchester.