A campaign has been launched to reinstate a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) in Blackfriars and Trinity which was partly removed by the council.
Harry Gray, founder of Walk Ride Salford, said the removal of a wooden planter which acts as an LTN filter on St Stephen Street has resulted in more traffic and pollution in the Blackfriars and Trinity area from Manchester’s inner ring road.
The LTN was implemented in Blackfriars and Trinity in 2020, funded by the government’s Emergency Active Travel fund. This was introduced during the pandemic to support local authorities in creating new walking and cycling infrastructure.
Part of the LTN was removed in 2021 as the council planned to change the location of the filter. A new location was published by the council, but the filter has not been replaced.
Mr Gray said: “It’s quite a binary scheme. You can’t pick and choose which filters you like because otherwise the whole scheme will fall apart. It’s like Jenga, you pull one out, the whole thing falls apart.”
When questioned on his position on LTNs in a recent interview, Paul Dennett, Mayor of Salford, said: “We’ve definitely not gone cold, but all of this has to happen through engagement, through consultation, and through participation.”
A Department for Transport survey undertaken in 2021 found that 65% of residents in Salford were in favour of LTNS.
“It’s been exhausted fully in terms of how democratically it has been implemented,” said Mr Gray. He believes the support for the scheme is there so now the mayor needs to deliver.
Traffic on residential roads has nearly doubled since 2010. This has resulted in more congestion and pollution on minor roads that are not designed to hold that much traffic.
Mr Gray believes LTNs are necessary to mitigate these traffic issues and to give the streets back to the people who live there.
Walk Ride Salford hold a range of events with the aim of showing the council that their walking and cycling infrastructure is necessary and well-liked by the people of Salford.
They have held walking tours around the city to show off and promote the new infrastructure. “For us its more about promoting it with the council rather than being too abrasive against them,” said Mr Gray.
“But obviously in this case we’ve had to come out in support of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood because we believe passionately that it should be reinstated. We’re trying to pressure them from a sort of more constructive way.”