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BIG LTN CHANGES: Government unveils plan to involve local communities in future road schemes

In a significant move aimed at improving the driving experience across the UK, the Government has announced a series of measures under its comprehensive Plan for Drivers. These initiatives are set to offer smoother journeys, reduce traffic congestion, and ensure that local communities have a more substantial say in road-related decisions.

The Department for Transport has released draft statutory guidance focusing on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), mandating councils to secure approval from residents, businesses, and emergency services before implementing new schemes. This approach aims to foster community involvement through various means such as in-person events, online platforms, and leaflet distributions. Set to be enforced this summer, this guidance expects local authorities to gauge community support thoroughly before proceeding with LTNs, thereby setting a higher standard for future projects.

Furthermore, the guidance outlines the consequences for councils that fail to implement road schemes aligning with local preferences, including the potential withdrawal of future funding and government intervention in cases of mismanagement. Additionally, a consultation is on the horizon concerning the restriction of councils' access to Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data for enforcement purposes by camera.

In parallel, councils have been issued updated guidance on the application of 20mph speed limits, emphasising the need for these to be reserved for areas where they are most sensible, such as school zones.

These measures stem from a review revealing low engagement and dissatisfaction among residents regarding LTNs, alongside concerns raised about their impact on disabled individuals, emergency services, and the high incidence of Penalty Charge Notices. The new strategies aim to rectify these issues, ensuring that future schemes are more effectively aligned with community needs and expectations.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “We want local people to have their voices heard, and any traffic schemes to have the consent of those they impact. 

“Well thought out schemes, like 20mph limits outside schools, can make our roads safer, but we are raising the bar to help ensure all traffic schemes work for everyone in the community.

“We’re on the side of drivers, and these latest measures show we’re getting on with delivering what we promised in our Plan for Drivers – making their lives better, fairer and cheaper, and helping people travel in the way that works best for them.” 


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