A senior Harrow councillor refused to say if contentious low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in the borough would be scrapped, despite pleas from several disgruntled residents.

Cllr Varsha Parmar, who is responsible for the environment at Harrow Council, said she would “review” the schemes, which include a series of road closures, later this month.

At a council cabinet meeting last night (November 11), opponents of the LTNs urged the council to immediately remove the measures, suggesting they have caused more problems than they hoped to solve.

Heshma Shah, from the ‘Free Harrow’ campaign group, was among those to call for a reversal of the schemes before “too much damage” is done to those affected.

She noted Transport Secretary Grant Schapps’ point that they should be halted if evidence suggests they are having a disproportionate impact on road users.

And she reminded the committee of Cllr Adam Swersky’s appearance on BBC Radio London, where he said the measures would be cancelled if the demand was there.

A ‘Free Harrow’ petition against the proposals, which was also put forward at the meeting, has gained more than 5,500 signatures in print and online combined.

It argues that the LTNs, while admirable in principle, have failed due to a lack of full consultation with those living in the affected areas.

Signatories said the changes have disrupted the smooth flow of traffic and forced cars down narrower, quieter roads, which could lead to poorer air quality.

If it can be shown that at least 2,000 of the signatures are from Harrow residents, the subject could be debated at a future full council meeting.

“These schemes were put in following guidelines set by the Government to ease the initial lockdown by providing space for cyclists and pedestrians,” said Cllr Parmar.

“Their accelerated delivery to address the health emergency means public consultation is different from and more limited than the normal process.

“A monthly review process was agreed by the Traffic and Road Safety Advisory Panel (TARSAP) for us to be able to assess the operation and consider any issues that might arise.

“We will look at a wide range of factors, including petitions, comments, feedback and data from officers, and then make a balanced judgement.

“I know there’s a lot of negativity around these schemes but there are also those who want them as well, and we need to be mindful of everyone’s contributions.”

Cycling and environmental activists are among those to have praised the new measures, with some calling for even greater changes to encourage active travel in Harrow.

And in a newsletter sent out to residents last month, Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, called for patience when it comes to seeing the outcome of these measures.

He said: “We have a real chance to help pedestrians and those on cycles or scooters keep apart, while encouraging people to use alternatives to public transport and their own cars.

“We understand there have been some frustrations and increased traffic issues over the past few weeks since the low-traffic neighbourhoods were implemented.

“From talking to some of my fellow leaders in London who have implemented low-traffic neighbourhoods previously, this does settle within a few weeks and then we can start to enjoy the benefits.”