During the lockdown, Lewisham Council took the opportunity to introduce emergency measures claiming to help the public stay safe whilst walking and cycling.
These measures, called low traffic neighbourhoods (LTN), meant that certain roads in Lee were closed off to cars by large planters, and there were no entry signs and traffic cameras. Unsuspecting drivers will undoubtedly rack up a few fines before they realise what is going on.
The measures feel opportunistic as they were introduced whilst people abided by government rules to “stay home and stay safe”. The decision was made without proper public consultation and only benefits a small area in the borough. As lockdown has eased and people are back on the roads, the measures have caused lengthy traffic jams and created air pollution in places like Burnt Ash Road, where drivers wait in traffic jams for upwards of 20 minutes.
This feels very classist as the blocks of flats at the top of Burnt Ash Road, leading into Westhorne Avenue, will now be subjected to even more air pollution than before.
What was once a ten-minute journey from Lewisham to Catford via Hither Green has now turned into a lengthy and frustrating 20–30-minute expedition.
It makes you wonder what other decisions have been made during the lockdown as we stayed indoors and worried about the pandemic.