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Parliament to debate Low Traffic Neighbourhoods this afternoon

The biggest thing happening in politics today … well, for active travel in London, maybe ...

It may not be the biggest thing happening in politics today – there’s the small matter of the US presidential election and, on this side of the Atlantic, Prime Minister’s Questions followed by the debate on the new lockdown arrangements coming into force in England at 1 minute past midnight – but this afternoon, an adjournment debate will see MPs address the topic of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in London.

The motion, tabled by Ealing Central & Acton MP Rupa Huq, addresses “COVID-19 emergency travel and transport measures in London boroughs” and given the Labour politician’s public views on measures taken by Ealing Council, LTNs will be a strong part of her focus.

The borough has seen some of the most vociferous opposition to such schemes, albeit from a minority, with planters blocking off roads to rat-running traffic moved and even vandalised in areas such as Northfields.

Back in July, after Ealing Council had announced that scheme, Huq made a bizarre claim on social media that the aftermath of a tree falling in a nearby street somehow foreshadowed the “gridlock” she insisted would ensue following road closures.

And in September, she wrote to Chris Cole, transport service planning manager at Ealing Council, raising a number of concerns about LTNs.

As we reported on road.cc last month, Labour-controlled Ealing Council subsequently won an emergency debate on LTNs in the borough, with council leader Julian Bell saying that it would “robustly defend” such schemes.

> Ealing Council wins crucial vote on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods at emergency meeting

Adjournment debates, lasting half an hour and taking place at the end of the day’s business in the House of Commons, enable MPs to raise a topic of his or her choosing, whether of local or national interest, with a government minister attending to give a response; such debates do not usually result in a vote.

We understand from our parliamentary contacts that the debate, which you will be able to watch by following this link, should start at around 7pm, and we will have a full report on proceedings later thsi evening or in the morning.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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