The Ham & High report last month of a pensioner left ‘confused and anxious’ after being fined four times for driving in the Bruce Grove/Wood Green ‘low traffic neighbourhood’ (LTN) – despite having a disability Blue Badge – reflects the distress resulting from these schemes. Across London disability groups are campaigning hard against LTNs.

Since I wrote in the Ham&High 18 months ago about the concerns of people with disabilities over the imposition of LTNs in Haringey without adequate consultation, the council has started to listen.

It has consulted with a joint partnership of vulnerable groups and set up ‘Common place’. Many disabled and older people have contributed to this community forum including SCALD and Haringey Carers Forum. There has been a wave of complaints from vulnerable people experiencing problems in making familiar journeys to go shopping, to doctor’s and hospital appointments – or simply visiting family and friends.

Ham & High: Mary Langan has been campaigning against the imposition of LTNs on people with disabilitiesMary Langan has been campaigning against the imposition of LTNs on people with disabilities (Image: Mary Langan)

We hope the tide is turning against LTNs across the capital. Hammersmith and Fulham is allowing residents access to LTNs, Southwark has scrapped plans for an LTN after a disability campaign. Camden has made a limited concession to blue badge holders. It still needs to listen to its disabled community.



Haringey is considering its options. It is good news that it will follow the example of other councils and allow access to Blue Badge holders.

Many elderly and disabled people – especially some with autism and learning disabilities - do not have Blue Badges, but still rely on cars, taxis or minibuses. They too should be exempted from LTN restrictions, without having to endure complex bureaucratic procedures, intrusive interrogations and certification by GPs or other authorities.

Haringey’s LTN consultation is entitled ‘Streets for People’. Let’s make sure that LTNs do not simply restrict the streets to pedestrians and cyclists, but ensure that our streets are accessible to the elderly and people with disabilities as well as the able and athletic.

  • Mary Langan is chair of Haringey Severe and Complex Needs Family Support Group (SCALD).