A controversial South London low traffic zone could be made permanent despite campaigners claiming it increases air pollution.

The Ferndale low traffic neighbourhood [LTN], which stretches across Clapham, Brixton and Stockwell, was introduced by Lambeth Council during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The local authority said a public consultation held earlier this year found most residents wanted to keep the traffic restrictions.

But One Lambeth, a campaign group that opposes LTNs, said the scheme wasn’t properly thought out. 

Niamh Kenny, from One Lambeth, told The Telegraph: “It’s a faux green scheme that looks good on paper, but the reality on boundary roads means it’s a badly thought out strategy. 

“The increased mileage due to the filters increases air pollution and congestion, which in turn affect all of us using main or boundary roads.

"Any mitigations for those roads are years away, while some of us suffer increased ill health.”

Lambeth Council claims the number of vehicles within the area where the traffic restrictions apply has dropped by 47 per cent.

It said traffic on roads within the LTN and surrounding it fell by 6 per cent – or 6,000 vehicles per day.

But campaigners argue the measures push cars onto roads surrounding the low traffic zone – increasing pollution for those living nearby. 

The Ferndale LTN would become the fifth area in the borough with restrictions on cars.

The Labour-run council has already introduced four LTNs: Oval to Stockwell, Railton between Brixton and Herne Hill, Streatham Hill and Tulse Hill.

A new e-bike rental scheme would be set-up on Brixton’s Pulross Road as part of the proposals for the latest low traffic zone.

The council has promised to provide extra bike hangers in the area and introduce more drop kerbs.

A crossing on Bedford Road from Ferndale Road would also be improved. 

Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, cabinet member for sustainable Lambeth and clean air, said: “The proposals to make Ferndale low traffic neighbourhood permanent are very welcome.

"Throughout the trial phase we have seen the level of vehicle traffic reduce, however we want to be clear in saying there is still more to do across Lambeth. 

"We are committed to listening to feedback to build on the success of the LTN in the future.

“The current LTNs alone will not solve traffic issues across the borough so we are looking at making further improvements in neighbourhoods and with our partners at TfL on main roads. 

"We believe we can all do our bit to raise air quality by leaving our cars at home for short trips and consider walking or cycling instead.”