Like this site? Help us to make it better.

London Conservative group accused of scaremongering over anti-LTN video

Tottenham Conservatives claim LTNs create Dead Zones where crime is rife, but research suggests otherwise

A local Conservative Party group in a North London borough has been criticised on social media for claiming that low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) encourage crime – with a number of Twitter users highlighting studies that demonstrate that they in fact cause a reduction in levels of anti-social behaviour.

Labour-run Haringey Council has rolled out three LTNs in the borough in recent months, in Bounds Green, Bruce Grove and, most recently, West Green. As with similar initiatives elsewhere, they are aimed at preventing rat-running drivers from using residential streets as a short cut, and thereby also making the area safer and more pleasant for people living there.

Introduced under the Haringey Streets for People initiative, the council has said that the LTNs were put in place following three rounds of engagement with the local community. It has also made  exemptions available for a number of categories of people including Blue Badge holders.

But Tottenham Conservatives, which regularly uses its social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to criticise the council’s support for LTNs, has claimed in a video posted to Twitter that “the Labour LTNs create dead zones.”

The video shows a woman filmed from behind walking down a poorly-lit residential street that, while captions appear on screen, to the sound of the siren of a police car.

“Streets with little or no footfall,” the first caption reads “Perfect for crime to flourish. Would you feel safe walking in a Dead Zone?”

The video, clearly aimed at conveying the idea that LTNs are unsafe at night, particularly for women on their own, ends with Tottenham Conservatives pledging to “scrap the Labour LTNs.”

But a number of people replying to the video have questioned where the data supporting that stance comes from – with one asking: “That goes against everything we know about the blight of community severance that traffic-heavy roads create. What are you basing your assertions on?”

Other tweets highlighted the experience of boroughs elsewhere in London where levels of crime went down after LTNs were put in there, while another linked a study on the subject.

And other Twitter users pointed out that the idea of restricting traffic in new housing schemes is has been standard planning procedure for several decades now.

The prospect of Tottenham Conservatives being in a position to scrap the LTNs is a distant one – currently, there is not a single Conservative member sitting on Haringey Council.

However, it does illustrate how LTNs, which were of course encouraged by Tory former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has often become politicised at local level through opposition to LTNs and other schemes aimed at encouraging active travel.

It’s not the first time the group has been criticised for its opposition to LTNs – in September, we reported how Tottenham Conservatives had posted images to social media comparing the effect on communities of LTNs to that of the apartheid that existed in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1980s.

> London borough Conservative group posts images to social media likening low-traffic neighbourhoods to apartheid

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment


eburtthebike | 1 year ago

Tottenham Conservatives; living proof that the tory party is now dominated by ex-UKIP and BNP people, so incredibly out of touch that they thought Truss would make a good PM.  Even Rishi, with his wife profiting £ms every year from Russian companies, had to be better, but the racist, senile, little Britainers wanted a new Maggie.

Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago


In and around Abbey Wood station. Mum's, dad's n kids have safer spaces to enjoy the outdoors around their homes without fear of getting run over by a nutter in a pimp out.

wtjs | 1 year ago

It's easy to detect the malevolent lying nutters and ignore them

OldRidgeback | 1 year ago

Not far from where I live there was a street notorious for kerb crawling and drug dealing, as well as muggings. Then the road had to be closed for a period of time as there was a gas leak. It took several months for the leak to be found, with the utility firm carrying out exploratory digging in the area first and then extensive, multiple repairs to the system. The kerb crawling stopped during this period, as did the drug dealing and the muggings, as all three were related issues. The residents  were delighted to be free from the persistent crime levels when the gas company closed the road initially and actually campaigned (successfully) for the end of the road to remain closed. It still is. This happened about 15 years ago.

When the LTNs were first proposed in the area and more streets were to be closed off, a lot of people remembered what'd happened and were in favour of the closures. A friend lives in one of the streets that used to link to a very busy main road and she was absolutely delighted when it was closed off. There had been several car crashes caused by vehicles travelling at high speed either travelling to or from the main road. There have been no crashes since the LTN was installed.

Fignon's ghost replied to OldRidgeback | 1 year ago

Spot on post.

As kids. My mate lived (literally) around the corner from me. He. In a Cul de sac. Me. On a through road.
You can imagine which was worse. Particularly after dark.
LTN's are a great idea if you want to prioritise a better standard of living for the residents.

As a driver and cyclist. I'm happy to make the compromise.

LTN's make for happier residents and will help motorists consider alternative modes of transport.

Why are we stuck in an endless cycle of 4+ seater motor's to deliver 1 person to a destination? Real change is coming. It's inevitable.

OldRidgeback replied to Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago

Cheers - my friend's street is the next turning off the main road from the one that'd been closed earlier following the gas leaks. A lot of people in her street were happy about the road closure. In addition to the crashes, there had been distubance caused by a club on the main road. People visiting the club would park their cars in her sidestreet, then come back to them early in the morning, making a lot of noise (music and shouting), waking everyone up. There had been some violence too. Now that the street is an LTN, the disturbance has stopped.

I still think many LTNs could be better planned. The one in my street isn't ideal as the main exit is via a congested junction that had safety issues even before the LTN was introduced. A lot of kids walk to school through that junction in the morning. But on the whole, they aren't a bad idea. And from what I've seen on my street, they certainly have encouraged residents not to use their vehicles for short journeys that they could walk or cycle instead.

Hirsute | 1 year ago

Tories lie. Colour me stupid.

Absurd levels of trolling. How to retain your subscribers by allowing pbus to spam the forums.

chrisonabike | 1 year ago

Why not "Ghost town" by the Specials as the sound track for their video?

IanMSpencer | 1 year ago

There is a theory that allow banned users back for the clicks. If they properly moderated the site, they might get some real money from me. I'm not going to subscribe when the pleasure of the good bits barely outweighs tolerating the nonsense from socking banned users.

The Accountant | 1 year ago

LTN opposition isn't just the preserve of local conservative party politicians, but also anyone who believes in democracy and equality of opportunity, as they were imposed without consultation to drive traffic out of the leafier suburbs and into poorer areas.

For example, the image at the header of the story is of Ealing, where Rupa Huq is MP. She railed against the centrist Johnson government and wrote the following on LTNs ( "Councils must resist the Government’s LTN bullying and stand up for residents"

Fine words indeed from an otherwise terrible person who recently spoke in racist tones about Kwasi Kwateng being "superficially black".

ShutTheFrontDawes replied to The Accountant | 1 year ago

I didn't realise that LTNs are being brought in by vigilantes without any democratic process. I thought they were brought in by Local Authorities led by democratically elected councillors.

If you can share details about the lawlessness and criminality involved, I'd love to read it.

Rendel Harris replied to The Accountant | 1 year ago
Rakia wrote:

they were imposed without consultation to drive traffic out of the leafier suburbs and into poorer areas.

Which is why in London people in the poorest 25% of the population are 2.5 times more likely to live in an LTN than richer people.

Latest Comments