Hounslow Transport Head Feted at Number 10

Meanwhile Ealing has government funding cut for scrapping LTN

Hounslow Cllr Hanif Khan with Boris Johnson

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The government appear to be employing a carrot and stick approach to persuading local authorities to implement its policies on active travel.

Shortly after announcing the intention to continue with the trial of Cycleway 9 through the centre of Chiswick, Hanif Khan, the councillor with responsibility for transport in the borough of Hounslow, received an invite to a reception at Number 10 Downing Street.

This Tuesday (3 August) he got to meet the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and was congratulated for his efforts by transport minister Grant Shapps.

On social media Cllr Khan said Boris Johnson, “had people over who had done some good things for transport during the pandemic and London Borough of Hounslow was high on his list. I got the opportunity to meet Grant Shapps, the Minister for Transport, who both thanked London Borough of Hounslow personally for the efforts and steps taken to promote cycling and active travel.”

Hanif Khan talking to Grant Shapps in the garden at Number 10
Hanif Khan talking to Grant Shapps in the garden at Number 10

The reception in the garden of Number 10 included people from across the country working in the field of transport during the pandemic including bus and train drivers.

The Prime Minister said after the reception, “Thank you to each and every one of our brilliant transport workers who have kept the country moving throughout the last 18 months.”

Grant Shapps added, “From railway workers to bus and tube drivers, all of the amazing people who work in transport deserve our profound thanks for keeping Britain moving throughout the pandemic.”


Cllr Khanl added, "Not for the first time we find Prime Minister Boris Johnson supporting Hounslow Council's position on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and cycle lanes.

“In November last year, I welcomed his support for increased walking and cycling, cleaner air, nicer neighbourhoods, fewer accidents and safer roads for pedestrians, cyclists, and our children, all of which our Streetspace programme delivers."

A few days before the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on transport, Andrew Gilligan, had revealed that a number of local authorities including the borough of Ealing, were having part of their funding suspended for ‘prematurely’ abandoning transport schemes such as Low Traffic Neighbourhood Schemes (LTN 21). The government had previously warned that councils withdrawing active travel schemes ‘without evidence’ would be liable to cuts in funding.

Mr Gilligan was the Prime Minister’s adviser when he was Mayor of London and the idea for Cycleway 9 originated at this time. He said that a letter had been written by the Minister of Transport to local authorities and that “we have, in some cases, given the recent record of an authority (or a constituent member of a combined authority), halted all funding until we can be sure of the authority’s commitment to active travel.

“This includes, though is not limited to, authorities which to our knowledge have prematurely removed active travel schemes. We hope to be able to resolve such issues as swiftly as possible with the authorities concerned.”

It is understood that six London boroughs have received a version of the same letter from Transport for London informing them of the suspension of funding.

Ealing Council scrapped the controversial LTN21 scheme in West Ealing and Hanwell and is currently consulting with residents about other LTN schemes which were put in place during the pandemic.

Ealing Council said, “We have trialled nine LTNs over the last year and have removed one scheme, after 9 months, and that was because the part closure of a boundary road by a neighbouring borough made the scheme unworkable. We have redesigned part of it and hope it will be supported by local people. Any decisions about further schemes will be made following trial periods of almost 12 months. These have now been concluded, allowing us to take into account a wide range of data and feedback, including how the schemes have affected traffic patterns and levels of local support."

Ealing Friends of the Earth said, "We are deeply unimpressed by the council’s actions, bringing on itself the halt in funding. There is good evidence that LTNs can lead to a significant increase in walking and cycling, leading to multiple benefits around traffic reduction, congestion, health, safety, air pollution and climate change. The officers will be able to provide evidence if needed.

"We urge Ealing council to address the borough’s traffic and transport issues with an extensive programme of active travel measures. Not pander to the car lobby and thereby be paralysed into inaction."

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August 8, 2021

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