Home Featured Rishi Sunak wants review of local traffic-reduction schemes
Rishi Sunak wants review of local traffic-reduction schemes

Rishi Sunak wants review of local traffic-reduction schemes

by host

LONDON — Local schemes to reduce traffic in some U.K. neighborhoods will be reviewed by the central government as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leans into concerns about the impact of pollution-cutting measures on motorists.

The U.K. government on Sunday announced that it would be reviewing so-called Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), although added that it would only provide details of the review in “due course.”

Sunak told the Sunday Telegraph he would appraise low traffic schemes because the “vast majority” of people were dependent on their cars.

“I just want to make sure people know that I’m on their side in supporting them to use their cars to do all the things that matter to them,” he said.

LTNs are designed to reduce traffic by stopping drivers using quieter roads as rat-runs. The LTN programs use barriers, such as bollards and planters, as well as road signs and CCTV cameras, to reduce traffic.

The government has previously helped fund LTNs, but the transport secretary said earlier this month that he had put an end to central government funding for the measures.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Local traffic measures must work for residents, businesses and emergency services. That’s why we are reviewing the impact of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods introduced by local authorities and will provide more details in due course.”

Sunak’s comments come amid a renewed focus on the green policy debate after the Conservatives clinched a surprise victory in a by-election in Uxbridge earlier this month by opposing the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) — a policy being implemented by the Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The ruling Conservatives, who trail Labour by 20 percentage points in the opinion polls, are seeking to draw a clear dividing line with the opposition over green policies.

But amid a backlash from the green industry last week after he declined in an interview to recommit to the ban on the sale of new fossil fuel cars by the end of the decade in order to reduce emissions, Sunak was more categorical, telling the Telegraph he was not considering a delay to the date.

Speaking to Times Radio on Sunday morning, Energy Minister Martin Callanan said: “The reality is that the industry is ready. We are committed to the 2030 ban.”

“Most manufacturers have already switched all of their research and development to battery electric vehicles,” Callanan said. “The transition is well on its way, most manufacturers are adapting, and it would make no sense to be honest to delay the implementation of this any further.”


For more polling data from across Europe visit POLITICO Poll of Polls.

Sunak is reportedly due to visit Scotland to announce funding for a carbon capture project in the North Sea.

Asked if the government was prepared to open up new exploration fields in the North Sea, Callanan told Times Radio: “In theory, yes.”

“If we can get resources that we would otherwise be importing from our own supplies in the North Sea, that employs British people, that raises money for the U.K. exchequer, and it’s actually less carbon intensive than importing that through methods like liquid natural gas,” Callanan said.

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