Police, fire and ambulance services did not object to a traffic reduction scheme when the plans for it had been finalised, according to town hall chiefs.

Richard Eason, Enfield Council’s healthy streets programme director, told councillors the emergency services did not oppose the final designs for the low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) scheme that was rolled out in Bowes during the summer.

He made the comments during a meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday, when discussing a petition objecting to the LTN that gained nearly 1,600 signatures.

At the start of the meeting, lead petitioner Roland Hewes called for the LTN to be removed immediately, saying: “It does nothing to keep us safe from Covid, it is socially regressive, it adds to pollution and congestion in our wider neighbourhood, it reduces the independence of the vulnerable and provides disincentives to walk and cycle”.

Mr Hewes warned the closure of through roads meant access for emergency services “is via a very congested part of the North Circular or Bounds Green Road, both of which are regularly gridlocked and sometimes closed and flooded”.

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Responding to his concerns and comments by councillors, Mr Eason said: “We have a very constructive relationship with the emergency services. The way it ultimately works is at the end of the discussion, do they have any objections? If they do not raise those objections with us, then we proceed to implementation – and that is the case with this scheme.”

He told the meeting the emergency services did not carry keys to bollards and other measures designed to stop through traffic, preferring to understand the “strategic routes” through neighbourhoods.

Mr Eason said he had personally spoken to the police and London Ambulance Service about the strategic routes, and they had agreed the routes that were settled on.

Under further questioning from councillors, he explained there had been an objection from the ambulance service during the discussion of the designs. But this was based on a potential increase in journey times for staff travelling to and from work and not on the operations of the ambulance service itself, he said.

Cllr Ian Barnes, the council’s deputy leader, pointed out that a camera had been installed on one of the entrances to the low-traffic neighbourhood to allow emergency services vehicles to pass through while preventing other through traffic.

The deputy leader said the council had been given eight weeks to implement the scheme by the Government, which is why there had not been a full consultation before it was rolled out.

Cllr Barnes claimed there had been engagement with Haringey Council and Transport for London and pointed out a consultation had been launched after the scheme was put in place.

In response to concerns that the LTN was having a negative impact on older and vulnerable people who rely on their cars, Cllr Barnes said the aim was to encourage people who can walk, cycle and use public transport to stop using their vehicles for short journeys.

At the end of the discussion, the committee agreed to recommend that officers do not make the LTN scheme permanent until a full and proper consultation has been carried out.