Lambeth council announced today (19 July) that it is taking action to combat vandalism of signs, cameras and planters used to enforce its five low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs).
It also warned that the vandalism could extend the time before any changes to the LTNs might be made.
One of the latest in a series of relentless attacks came at the end of last week, when engine oil was poured into planters on Upper Tulse Hill.
Residents cleaned and painted the planters over the weekend.
The council said measures to tackle vandalism will include extra CCTV, more council patrols and additional police visits.
It said it will also seek to prosecute anyone committing vandalism.
The LTNs “are in place to maintain a safe street environment, support green transport options and improve air quality,” the council said.
It has written to residents, thanking those who have reported damage and saying that anyone who has a concern about the issue should email email@example.com.
“It has cost the council money to replace damaged signage, cameras and other equipment,” it said in a statement.
“Additionally, residents who have sowed plants and flowers at their own expense have, in some cases, seen them cut down or torn up.”
Cllr Danny Adilypour, joint cabinet member for sustainable transport, environment and clean air, said: “People are entitled to express their views over our low traffic neighbourhood trials, but there is no excuse for acts of criminal vandalism which put our residents at risk and this is not an effective way to engage with the council or fellow residents.
“Residents who oppose the schemes or would like to see improvements have many ways to constructively engage with the council, and we’re actively seeking their feedback.
“Vandalism poses a danger to the public, is criminal and will be treated as such.”
The council said the five schemes are currently in a trial period under Experimental Traffic Orders “to understand how they impact traffic movement. Vandalism to the schemes could extend the trial periods and delay the planned public consultations”.
Cllr Adilypour said: “We know our emergency low traffic neighbourhood schemes have generated a healthy debate and we are grateful to all of the residents who have engaged and worked with us on this so far.
“The consultations will give everyone a chance to have their say in a fair, reasoned way.
“We encourage you to continue to share information with us and we thank you for your diligence to helping to keep everyone safe.
“Collectively, we can build a greener street environment that tackles the climate crisis, where cycling, walking, using a wheelchair, rollerblading or any other active modes of travel feel like comfortable and viable options for getting around.”
Updates on the project are available at lambeth.commonplace.is/.
The High Court rejected a series legal challenges to the council’s LTNs at the end of last month.
A crowdfunding appeal to raise £14,500 to appeal against the judgment had raised £1,921 by this morning.