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Hackney councillor sent death threats over support for low traffic neighbourhoods

“Threatening to kill a councillor because you can’t drive your car exactly where you want, when you want. Appalling” says Diane Abbott MP

Many low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) have met with resistance from a vocal minority and some have even been vandalised. Now things are getting really ugly. Hackney councillor Jon Burke today revealed that he had received death threats because of his support for such schemes.

LTNs block rat-running drivers, reducing pollution and making roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

You wouldn’t think there was an enormous amount to violently object to.

But then you aren’t the person who sent this:

Burke has handed the letter to police.

Hackney is committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040. As Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm, it is Burke’s job to deliver this.

Just 30 per cent of Hackney households own a car, yet his efforts with low traffic neighbourhoods have resulted in frequent abuse from angry motorists on social media.

"You've got to be led by what you know is good practice and what will work but you've also got to have the guts to deliver that in the teeth of opposition," he told Dezeen.

Hinting at where much of this displeasure comes from, he added: "Almost half the motor vehicles on our streets at any one time are cars that are passing through Hackney and adding zero value to the life of the borough. So it's my job to help minimise that."

> Halfords driver 'removed number plate' to get through Low Traffic Neighbourhood street without detection

After Burke tweeted the letter earlier today, any number of people have been lamenting that a councillor attempting to improve his area should find himself the subject of death threats.

These have included Diane Abbott MP.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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OldRidgeback | 3 years ago

The problem with LTNs is that they're so often badly thought out. Some work, some don't. The ones in Tooting in South London were abandoned because they closed off ambulance routes to St Georges hospital. Yes, I know this was reported in the Daily Hate. But I did actually see an ambulance having to back up and go back on the congested main road while I was there myself.

There's a new LTN gone into use in my area this morning as it happens. It pushes all the traffic from the area through a junction that's already busy and dangerous and used by a lot of kids walking to school in the morning. Since most of the locals, myself included, are more concerned about speeding on local roads (not to mention close passes), I think more and better speed bumps in the area would be simpler, cheaper and more effective.

Christopher TR1 | 3 years ago

I think this little article nicely demonstrates that some people (probably quite a lot) are too stupid to be allowed to drive.

Sriracha | 3 years ago

"Hackney councillor sent death threats"
I do like a proper ambiguous headline!

eburtthebike | 3 years ago

Drivers are literally addicted to driving, and anyone who threatens that addiction, will in turn be threatened; it's what addicts do.  Sadly, addicts aren't open to logic, facts or persuasion, all they want and need is their drug, and anyone who gets in their way is a target.

billymansell | 3 years ago

Time to brand these One-xxx anti-LTN militia groups as criminal organisations.

As the councillor asserts, these are astro-turf organisations underpinned by the far-right, alt-right and the worst elements from the taxi groups who have no interest in the areas they infiltrate but want to sow division and hate for political aims.

brooksby | 3 years ago

I can’t turn left to my road in haggerston because of your road closures, I have to drive around which takes about 10 minutes instead when I can turn left and be home in less than 1 minutes.


Wow - some people REALLY need to get a sense of proportion, don't they?

Bmblbzzz replied to brooksby | 3 years ago

When your entire life is set upon first world goals, then first world problems seem like real ones.

Captain Badger replied to Bmblbzzz | 3 years ago


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