London School Staff Patrol ‘Ghost Town’ LTN Amidst Rising Crime Concerns: Lambeth Council Suspends Scheme

Teachers at Bishop Thomas Grant School in Streatham, South London, have been facing challenges as they patrol the quiet streets of a low traffic neighborhood (LTN), amidst concerns over rising crime targeting pupils.

The LTN, introduced by Lambeth Council in October 2023, has led to significant disruptions, prompting the council to suspend the scheme due to public backlash.

School Staff Navigate ‘Ghost Town’ Streets

Staff members at Bishop Thomas Grant School have described the adjacent streets as resembling a “ghost town” due to the impact of the LTN.

With fewer vehicles on the road, gangs of thieves have targeted pupils, prompting teachers to patrol the area to ensure student safety.

The school, rated Outstanding by Ofsted inspectors, has expressed concerns about delays in public transport and the safety of its 1,200 pupils.

Impact on Transport and Safety

Head teacher Bernadette Boyle highlighted the adverse effects of the LTN on public transport, with buses slowed down to approximately 1.5mph on Streatham High Road.

This has resulted in punctuality problems for students, leading to poor attendance and affecting educational attainment.

Additionally, staff members have been impacted by considerable traffic delays in the area, further exacerbating the challenges faced by the school community.

Council Response and Suspension of LTN

Amidst mounting concerns over safety and transport disruptions, Lambeth Council made the decision to suspend the LTN in March, acknowledging the significant public backlash against the scheme.

The council admitted to being warned about an increase in crime in the area following the implementation of the LTN.

While committed to reducing air pollution and promoting sustainable transport, the council emphasized the need to address community safety concerns.

Police and Council Assurance

Both the Metropolitan Police and Lambeth Council have reassured the community of their commitment to addressing safety concerns.

The police have pledged to work closely with the school to ensure the safety of young people in Streatham, while the council has reiterated its focus on improving neighborhood conditions without compromising public safety.

Conclusion:

The suspension of the Streatham LTN reflects the delicate balance between environmental initiatives and community safety.

As Bishop Thomas Grant School grapples with the fallout from the scheme, the council’s decision to prioritize public safety underscores the importance of addressing the concerns of local residents and educational institutions in navigating the complexities of urban planning initiatives.

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