Warning Low Traffic Neighbourhoods kill High Street and are magnets for drugs dealers

Nick Ferrari clashes with guest over Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

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Dwayne Barnett runs the Atlantic Bakery in Brixton where an LTN was introduced last year by Lambeth Borough Council. The schemes have been introduced across London boroughs in an effort to improve air quality, make roads safer and encourage people to use greener forms of transport.

But critics have claimed that they simply push traffic onto other roads – often in poorer areas – and damage small businesses because people can no longer get to them so easily.

Last week Mr Barnett made an impassioned plea to remove the LTN along Atlantic Road during the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

He told the meeting: “I have rent to pay, bills to pay, letters from Lambeth Council even yesterday for my council tax and business rates.

“We can’t survive.”

He added: “All of us on that road are suffering. Ladies and gentlemen I know a lot of businesspeople in Lambeth and Brixton are saying ‘they can’t trust you people (the councillors)’.

“And I’m saying the truth because you’re not listening to them.

“Today I can leave here and go back to my community and say to them ‘you’re wrong’ (about the council).

“Because Lambeth Council gave me the opportunity to say to them.

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“Ladies and gentlemen you sit here – I know your jobs are hard – but our life is in your hands.

“Some of us have nothing else.”

He added: “Since the road has closed off it is now bringing back the drug (dealers) into Brixton.

“I wrote to several people from Lambeth Council and they just shoved me and said ‘oh go to the police’.

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“Ladies and gentlemen, a few weeks ago somebody came into my shop on Atlantic Road and offered me £60,000 to launder (dirty money) into my business because they know the weakness we are going through.

“They said ‘listen I give you £60,000 you put it on the books and do certain things for us’.

“And I said ‘no’.

“I said ‘I’m too old to go to prison now’.

“And people are taking (advantage of) the weakness that is happening now here.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I brought it to several people at Lambeth Council.

“Since the road closed on Atlantic Road, in the evening I challenge any of you to go there on a Friday afternoon. You will see what is happening.”

Saying he worked there “with pride”, he said if you “went there now you would see two different sets of drug (dealers)” selling illegal drugs there.

He added: “You know why? It’s quiet now. Nobody’s driving through.”

Addressing Mr Barnett’s comments, Lambeth Conservative Councillor Tim Briggs said LTNs were “creating ghettos”.

He added: “People don’t want to walk around at night. It creates a vacuum and gangsters and criminals move in and exploit the opportunities.

“These businesses are suffering because they are not getting any of the trade so they are absolutely on their knees.

“So they are coming in and saying if you launder some money I’ll give you £60,000.

“This community is being absolutely strangled by these Labour councillors.

“These middle class, woke Labour councillors are insisting on blocking goods and services and capital from moving around.

“The black community are being horribly affected and these are the people that the Labour councillors are claiming to care about.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the council and Met Police for comment.

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