The removal of some contentious roadblocks in Harrow is “nowhere near enough” to alleviate new traffic problems in the borough, campaigners have said.

Members of the ‘Free Harrow’ campaign group responded to Harrow Council’s announcement that planters, which had closed off roads in Southfield Park, Kingsfield Avenue and Pinner View as part of the low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) programme, will not be reinstalled after they were temporarily removed due to maintenance work.

They argued this was “too small” a measure given the scale of the wider negative reaction towards the LTNs and urged the council to remove the remaining planters in the borough.

The LTNs, as well as other traffic-easing measures put in by the council as part of its ‘Streetspace’ programme such as pavement-widening and pop-up cycle lanes, have been hotly debated since their implementation earlier this year.

While there has been widespread acknowledgement that there needs to be a move towards increased active travel, many believe the current schemes have caused more problems than they hoped to solve.

Prash Kotecha, who recently presented a petition with 5,500 signatures to the council on behalf of ‘Free Harrow’ said this latest announcement had been “widely regarded as disappointing”.

“It’s inches when it should have been yards – it’s not eased concerns or solved problems and it’s not helped enough people who need it,” he said.

“It’s like they’ve given a tiny bit of meat to a dog in the hope that it will be satisfied, and it will go away.”

He added the communication around this decision – members of his group only found out on Wednesday (December 2) – was typically “vague” and “muddy” and suggested the council worked more closely with residents on this issue.

He pointed out that many people who have been affected by these changes have started to lose faith in their elected representatives.

“They’ve wised up to the reality that blaming the Government is seen as nothing more than an excuse,” he said.

“There’s still time to raise your hand, admit you got it wrong and start again.

“At the moment, there’s been a widespread loss of trust and loss of respect for the council.”

Cllr Varsha Parmar, who is responsible for the environment at Harrow Council, said these recent changes show the council recognised the positive impact of removing the planters in these areas.

She said: “We acted swiftly to reduce congestion and keep traffic moving while essential gas works in Station Road took place.

“To do this it was necessary to open-up some of the roads that were recently closed as part of two LTNs.

“We have listened to the resident’s feedback and we’re going to keep these changes in place until we do the overall review of the scheme.”

She added the council would “continue to work with residents” on this issue, including through monthly reviews of the schemes, and urged people to continue to give feedback via the consultation portal.