Dozens of residential streets in central Tottenham and West Green are closed to through traffic from today – with fines for motorists who break the rules.

The Bruce Grove and West Green low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) trial – the third in a series of similar schemes drawn up by Haringey Council were launched today (November 1).

It will see 21 traffic filters – comprising 18 cameras and three physical barriers – used to restrict access to streets between Green Lanes in the west and Tottenham High Road in the east. The measures are designed to stop non-residential traffic from cutting through side streets.

Residents and businesses will still be able to reach their properties but may have to change their usual routes. Exemptions will apply to several groups – including disabled Blue Badge holders, emergency services and transport services for those with special educational needs and disabilities – to allow them to pass through the camera-enforced filters.

According to the council, residents within and outside the LTN can also apply for an exemption where there is a “demonstrated medical need”. Those caught driving through the filters without an exemption could be fined up to £130.

The LTN will be divided into two areas. Area A will cover streets between Lordship Lane, Bruce Grove, High Road, Philip Lane, West Green Road, Belmont Road and Downhills Way. Area B will cover streets between Green Lanes, West Green Road, Belmont Road, Downhills Way and Westbury Avenue.

Each area will be further divided into smaller zones that can only be reached from one of the boundary roads. Filters will be used to stop motorists from driving between these zones.

Two large LTNs have already been introduced by the council this year, in Bounds Green and St Ann’s. The schemes are designed to encourage the use of walking, cycling and public transport, with the reduction in car use leading to safer streets, lower carbon dioxide emissions and better air quality.

Critics of the schemes have cast doubt on their benefits, however, with some claiming LTNs increase journey times and cause traffic congestion on surrounding roads, which in turn suffer poorer air quality. Some London boroughs have removed LTNs that proved unpopular with residents.

According to a council report detailing responses to a survey of residents, more than half (54%) of respondents living in the Bruce Grove and West Green LTN area were positive about reducing traffic – but a similar proportion were against the changes planned by the council. Opposition to the changes was higher among respondents living in boundary roads, with majorities against both traffic reduction and the proposed changes.

The main concerns raised in response to the survey included increased traffic on main roads, longer car journey times and more pollution on main roads, particularly near schools. There were also concerns over the impact on people living in boundary roads, those from less affluent backgrounds, and older and disabled people.

The council says it has made several changes after continuing to work with the emergency services following the approval of the schemes in December last year. These include changing physical barriers planned for Linley Road and Mount Pleasant Road to camera-enforced filters.

The Bruce Grove and West Green LTN will run for a trial period of up to 18 months. After it has been introduced, the council plans to gather feedback from residents before deciding whether to make the scheme permanent.

Cllr Mike Hakata, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, environment and transport, said there was an “urgent need to reduce road traffic to tackle the escalating threat of climate change”.

He added: “We’re introducing this low-traffic neighbourhood trial because we want to reduce the overall volume of traffic in and around the area so that the whole community can benefit from cleaner air and safer streets.

“This is the beginning of a truly transformative journey in which pedestrians and active travel are prioritised, and neighbourhood streets become welcoming, liveable and inclusive spaces for all.”