Figures used to justify the creation of 'low-traffic neighbourhoods' were "incorrect" the Department for Transport has said.
LTN's (low traffic neighbourhoods) are being implemented across Britain with councils bullying motorists into abandoning their cars for the 'greater good' of the local community. The Low traffic neighbourhoods have been met with fierce opposition from residents and businesses with a number of legal challenges to the schemes being mounted in Oxford, Bristol, and Greater London.
This week a boost to those legal challenges occurred. A review of the Government’s Minor Road Traffic Estimates’ report, whose findings were frequently used to justify the schemes, found that the DfT had significantly over-counted the rise in traffic on residential streets between 2009 and 2019.
In London, where figures suggesting an almost 60 per cent rise in minor road traffic and a 72 per cent rise on the smallest roads had been widely cited, there had in fact been no increase at all over the decade, the new data show. A previously published increase from 6.6 billion vehicle miles in 2009 to 10.4 billion in 2019 has been revised to eight billion in both years.
Across Britain, miles driven on minor roads rose by less than 10 per cent, and not the 26 per cent originally claimed. This is over a decade and doesn't include 2020s lockdowns, or the that the population over that period has increased by five million people.
The original data suggested a rise from 108 billion vehicle miles in 2009 to almost 136 billion in 2019. This has been revised to 107 billion in 2009 and 117 billion in 2019.
The falsification of these data has given many councils the excuse to wage war on the car. The data has been made to fit the policy, not the other way around.
The figures, published in 2020, were “the best estimate at the time of publication”, the Government said, but have been revised in a review of 'methodology'.
The figures were used in a DfT paper published last year reporting on the first year of a new wave of travel schemes, including LTNs. In a forward to the original report Boris Johnson wrote:
"In the decade to 2020, road traffic in urban areas grew by a quarter, and on side streets by a third. It is forecast to rise even more in the next decade. There are only a few ways to deal with this. The best way is to make better use of the roads we’ve already got, by encouraging vehicles such as cycles and buses that take up less space per passenger."
The entirely false claims made in the paper were seized on as justification to remove cars from many city streets and inconvenience motorists on others. Climate zealots and Marxist controlled councils cited the paper as justification for their war on the motorist. A paper published last year by the climate charity Possible cited the figures as evidence for “unsustainable traffic growth” supporting the need for LTNs, adding: “Much of this increase is likely to be due to sat-nav systems turning residential streets into cut-throughs that allow drivers to avoid main roads.”
Unsubstantiated claims of top of falsified data that passes as 'science' so often these days.
Supporters point to data suggesting some schemes have been 'successful' in reducing air pollution, however as the data on car numbers have been falsified there is no reason to believe that these data won't be the same. Likewise there has been no increase in walking or cycling, despite the claims there would be. In Oxford, the number of people cycling on the new Quickway has actually reduced according to the most recent independent survey.
A Local Government Association spokesman said: “Traffic levels in local communities, not national averages and estimates, are one of a number of reasons why councils chose to introduce low traffic neighbourhoods as well as other policy interventions to facilitate active travel and cut harmful carbon emissions in their areas.”