Council moves Brixton LTN planter

A fire engine attempts to negotiate the gap between the planter and a parked car

Lambeth council has “tweaked” the location of one of its low traffic neighbourhood planters in Brixton after what one resident described as a “Twitter rant”.

The council agreed through social media that the planter, at the junction of Tintern Street and Sandmere Road in the Ferndale area, created a tight angle “so we’re going to have the planter tweaked”.

Cllr Claire Holland, council deputy leader (sustainable transport, environment and clean air), later said the planter was part of trials of low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) schemes taking place while the council’s emergency transport strategy is in place.

“This is a direct response to Covid-19, to tackle transport and health inequalities exacerbated by the coronavirus and to support a local economic recovery,” she said.

A video of a fire engine unable to pass the planter was widely shared locally.

Social media users also debated whether the cause was the planter or an improperly parked car.

“It is important to ensure those who do not have access to a car – around 60% of Lambeth residents – aren’t forced to walk or cycle on dangerous roads or forced to use public transport whilst the risk of transmission remains high,” said Holland.

“These projects aim to redress this balance, making it safer for everyone to walk and cycle, so that those without a car have genuine transport options whilst leaving our roads clear for those that absolutely have to use them.

“The emergency services were consulted on all the schemes and their designs in advance, and gaps were left at the entrance to  roads, to enable emergency access.

“It has now transpired the angle at this junction is tight, so we’re moving the planter to make it easier for emergency vehicles to pass through.

woman with bicycle
Claire Holland

“We’ll continue to be responsive and quickly address any other issues that arise during this trial scheme.

“We understand the concerns of some residents and are fully engaging with all our communities, online, face-to-face and by phone so residents can feedback on the four low traffic neighbourhood schemes we are currently trialling.

“As the emergency strategy makes clear, the temporary measures cannot be made permanent without public consultation and we are fully committed to that.

“As the coronavirus lockdown eases, our residents have told us they don’t want to go back to the ‘old normal’ where Lambeth had some of the worst collision statistics in London and some of the worst air pollution in Europe.

“We have a chance now to make a real difference to avoid lurching from one health crisis to another and address inequalities in our borough.

“I know this is new and different, and we are determined to bring all our communities with us in this push for a cleaner and safer Lambeth because we will all benefit.”


  1. Hopefully Cllr Holland’s vote will indeed evaporate, unlike the traffic!

    Funnily enough she lives within her own LTN scheme on Fentiman Road so has pushed traffic onto the main roads away from her very expensive home.

    Introduced without consultation, this is not what democracy is all about.


  3. Every action causes a reaction. Stop causing misery to London. These restrictions hurt the elderly and disabled and cause congestion in near by streets. It makes driving in London miserable despite many people having already spent fortunes on owning a car. It narrows the arteries on this great city and will cost the city millions of pounds in lost time. Put things back, save the people money which is entrusted to you spend it wisley. Don’t complain that you have no funding when you keep wasting it.

  4. Because there was no impact Assessment done by the local council on how this would affect the emergency services all these traffic schemes are illegal as they don’t take into account for response times that the emergency services have to meet with in the London area. So if someone dies because of these traffic schemes counsellors can be held responsible. You really can’t have people who are anti car making traffic policy because of their bias.

  5. This has been pushed through under the guise of COVID with a clear blatant abuse of power by councillor Holland in conjunction with some minority local resident groups. This will be a death knoll for Lambeth labour councillors when it comes to the next local elections in 2022.

  6. Engaged with all the community? I don’t think so. Claire Holland had always refused to discuss the traffic problems outside the Oval Triangle even before the LTN was introduced. Her approach is so inclusive and cooperative that residents have been forced to maintain anominity in order to get their voices heard. Do you really think that in this vicious environment that she has created through a failure to discuss, to consult or to listen, local residents will be encouraged to put their heads above the parapet and sacrifice themselves? This is now bigger than LTN’s this is about democracy and fairness for all.

  7. This reads as if Cllr Holland has been given carte blanche to craft a response to the incident – were views other than hers sought for this article? If Lambeth really did want to move the needle on air pollution and live up to their status as the first Council in London to declare a climate emergency, the right thing to do would’ve been to run a comprehensive ANPR scheme last year when the climate emergency declaration was made, in order to understand where actually traffic goes from an to in the borough, and where, therefore, traffic measures could be effectively introduced. But this was not done, and the results are now plain – half-baked implementation leading to more hazard for residents and traffic being shunted often from more affluent neighbourhoods to less well-off ones. And as for “fully engaging with all our communities”, you could’ve fooled me – in Stockwell we heard not a word about LTNs until they were launched in late May, and I understand that Lambeth are rolling over the ‘liveable streets’ consultation results from 2018/19 to enable them to say they’ve consulted over the last year.

    I these schemes are supposed to make traffic ‘evaporate’ , but the only thing evaporating that I can see is votes for Labour Cllr’s in 2022.

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