‘War on motorists’ branded ‘absolute misinformation’ by Green Party deputy, also defends LTNs

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“What I know people want, and it doesn’t matter if you drive a car, ride a bike, or walk, is air that they can breathe, a planet that we can live on, and communities that feel connected.”

The Green Party’s deputy leader has slammed any alleged ‘war on motorists’ as “absolute misinformation” in an LBC interview discussing public transport and low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs).

In a clip shared to Twitter, Zack Polanski, who is also one of the party’s London Assembly Members (AM), was asked by presenter Andrew Castle whether he is in-favour of the healthy streets schemes, following the news they will receive no central government funding.

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“I think this is ultimately about priorities,” Mr Polanski said.

“The government are spending £27 billion on new roadbuilding projects. There is no war on motorists, that’s absolute misinformation.

“What I know people want, and it doesn’t matter if you drive a car, ride a bike, or walk, is air that they can breathe, a planet that we can live on, and communities that feel connected that don’t have huge amounts of traffic and congestion running through them. That’s ultimately what low-traffic neighbourhoods are working towards.”

Asked whether he is a “city dweller who can sit on his bike or walk a lot easier, or has great public transport,” Mr Polanski admitted he has access to good services in London.

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However, he added: “It’s not about taking that away from me, it’s about how can we spread that to the rest of the country”, before noting the Green Party proposal that no bus journeys should cost more than £1.

Zack Polanski, Green Party deputy leader and London Assembly Member. Credit: Ming Yeung/Getty Images.Zack Polanski, Green Party deputy leader and London Assembly Member. Credit: Ming Yeung/Getty Images.
Zack Polanski, Green Party deputy leader and London Assembly Member. Credit: Ming Yeung/Getty Images.

Mr Castle then queried whether Mr Polanski uses a car outside of London, with Mr Polanski saying he travels via train, acknowledging he is privileged to be able to do so.

The clip ends with Mr Castle telling the Green AM “these concerns are not yours” due to his circumstances living in the capital, before Mr Polanski refers to schemes such as cargo bikes and consolidation centres, as ways of supporting those needing to carry and deliver heavy items.

What are LTNs?

LTNs are areas where motorists have restricted access to certain roads, in an effort to reduce vehicle use, improve the safety of the roads in question and clean up the air.

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They typically employ barriers such as bollards and planters to block traffic, though sometimes also involve the use of automatic numberplate recognition cameras.

LTNs have proven controversial in some areas, due to allegations they move traffic onto nearby roads and impact businesses.

However, research published in January by the charity Possible demonstrated the value of LTNs, finding the average traffic reduction within the capital’s schemes was 46.9%, with little impact on boundary roads.

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