Traffic-reduction schemes that have caused controversy in other boroughs will not be imposed on Barnet residents, councillors have agreed.

Low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) – designed to cut rat-running, boost air quality and encourage walking and cycling – will only be rolled out with the support of residents.

The schemes, which have been introduced in neighbouring Enfield and Harrow, restrict through-traffic by closing street entrances using bollards and similar measures.

But they have faced criticism for causing tailbacks on surrounding roads, resulting in delays for residents and businesses and concerns pollution has increased in some areas.

Some LTNs have been introduced using experimental traffic orders, which means a full consultation was not held before they were rolled out.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, Cllr Roberto Weeden-Sanz (Conservative, Brunswick Park), who is the Tories’ candidate for the London Assembly, called on the council not to impose LTNs on residents.

Cllr Weeden-Sanz said: “The LTNs, which we have seen being imposed on residents across London, do very little to improve what they are supposed to in our environment.

“It is part of an on-going war on residents, and particularly on drivers, that we have seen time and again from Labour councillors and Labour councils. It is something that, in this borough, we will not stand for.”

But his claims were criticised by the Labour Group, whose members pointed out that LTNs form part of Barnet’s long-term transport strategy – which was backed by Tory councillors.

Cllr Kath McGuirk (Labour, West Finchley) said: “Are you aware that your long-term transport strategy included low-traffic neighbourhoods – so you are going against the policy of your local council?”

Cllr McGuirk said residents regularly lobbied councillors for schemes to cut traffic in their roads. She added that an LTN-like scheme had been introduced on streets in Finchley Church End, with the backing of Tory councillors, and asked if Cllr Weeden-Sanz wanted to scrap it.

Lib Dem leader Cllr Gabriel Rozenberg (Garden Suburb) admitted LTNs can cause problems in the short term if they are rushed but said they ultimately promote healthy living, reduce pollution and encourage active travel.

And Labour leader Cllr Barry Rawlings (Coppetts) said LTNs were a “Conservative Government initiative that they are providing funds for”.

But council leader Cllr Dan Thomas (Conservative, Finchley Church End) lent his support to Cllr Weeden-Sanz’s motion.

Cllr Thomas said: “LTNs ban traffic for most, if not all of the day, causing problems for businesses, tradesmen and drivers – and, where streets are physically blocked, delay emergency vehicles. I would like to reassure residents we will not impose LTNs.”

Cllr Weeden-Sanz clarified that he was only against imposing LTNs, suggesting he was not against introducing them if a consultation showed residents were in favour of them.

At the end of the debate, Labour and the Liberal Democrats voted against Cllr Weeden-Sanz’s motion, but it was approved when the Conservatives voted in favour.