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Joe Lycett's Channel 4 show criticised for promoting anti-LTN 'conspiracy theory'

The show also claimed that punishing motorists for breaking the new rules was like 'fining people for doing what they have done for years'...

Comedian Joe Lycett's Channel 4 show has been criticised for suggesting that some councils' main motivation for implementing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods is to raise money by fining motorists.

In the piece, the 'Joe Lycett's Got Your Back Show' visited one Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Parsons Mead to demonstrate how 'easy' it was for motorists to be unknowingly fined. 

Comedian and writer Sophie Duker, who was presenting the segment, started by admitting she didn't know what the signage denoting the low traffic neighbourhood zone meant. 

She said: "I last passed a theory test in the noughties so I don't know what this (sign) is."

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After meeting a 'local hero' and anti-LTN campaigner who admitted being fined multiple times for breaking the rules, the presenter then starts warning motorists approaching the zone that if they don't have a Broad Green permit they face a fine of £65 for driving through.

The show then looked at how much money councils were 'putting away' in fines from motorists breaking the new laws.

Duker then went to Croydon Council's offices to 'put signs up fining people for doing things they have always done for years and years', in order to serve 'justice'. 

Cycling campaign groups were quick to respond to the claims made in the show with many taking to Twitter to voice their feelings.

Croydon Cycling Campaign wrote: "What 'takes the biscuit' is that you haven't reported the following facts: Locals are exempt; Croydon Council gives 3 free permits to households inside the zone. People who live outside the area can still drive into it, just not rat run through it."

Another local cycling safety group described the segment as 'shameful'.

They commented: "This is so shameful. Should we just disregard the law just because we feel like it?

"Comparing using a phone when waiting for someone on foot with curbing a behaviour (ratrunning) that is deeply damaging to people's health and wellbeing is deeply misinformed. Shame on you."

The Independent's Policy Correspondent Jon Stone also weighed in on the argument.

He said: "If you don't know what road signs mean then please don't drive a car.

"The claim that councils are doing LTNs for the fine money is a conspiracy theory. 

"The programme made no effort to present the rationale for the scheme or any alternative point of view at all."

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Channel 4 has been contacted for comment.

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