Middle class warriors are waving down motorists to warn them about a Labour council’s driving fines. The group are handing out leaflets to passing drivers in Lambeth, south London, to let them know about £130 penalties for entering closed roads.
They say that the council isn’t wanting to make the streets any safer with the closed roads dubbed Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) – but instead is just trying to make “money”.
Retired accountant Jim Bennett, 71, says he’s stopped 150 vehicles from entering the road in just one day, reports The Telegraph.
He said: “We are educating motorists about road signs which most people do not realise mean no entry for motor vehicles.
“The council tries to brand LTNs as a way of making streets safer. But, really they are about making money for the council. And, that’s where we come in.”
The volunteers include retired residents, housewives and professionals. They are warning motorists away from three bus filters within the Streatham Wells LTN trial which started in October 2022.
The volunteers say that the signs are confusing – as they feature a sign with a motorcycle and a car in a red circle.
The sign is supposed to mean that cars and motorcycles can’t enter – but Mr Bennett says that people think it means that they are the only vehicles on the sign can enter.
And he says that the council refusing to add a no entry sign, hence their need to get involved. Meanwhile Rishi Sunak has vowed to end the “war on motorists” – which includes LTNs and 20mph zones.
He said he is “slamming the brakes on the war on motorists” and LTNs will only be permitted where there is local consent. Lambeth was one of the top five London 32 councils issuing fines – 354,832 2022/2023.
A Lambeth Council spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “The Streatham Wells Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial was introduced to make the area safer, more sustainable and give everyone in Lambeth more equal access to their local streets.
“We welcome local residents engaging with the trial LTN and helping ensure people do the right thing. The reason we use signage rather than bollards is so emergency services and other exempted traffic have quick access to all streets.
“We are aware that when new low traffic neighbourhoods are first introduced there is the potential for disruption as road users adjust to the new conditions. Typically journey times improve once the measures have bedded in.
“We know from LTNs delivered across the country that in time local residents take advantage of safer streets for walking and cycling and make fewer trips by car.”