Vast majority benefits from LTNs

LTNs help reduce road danger

The vast majority of people in London live on streets that could be part of low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) according to a new study

Critics have argued the schemes benefit wealthier areas by simply pushing traffic elsewhere, but the report found “no clear social equity problem related to LTNs” and only minimal difference on the likelihood of this for households on lower incomes, people from minority ethnic groups, or those with disabilities.

The study, by Prof Rachel Aldred and Dr Ersilia Verlinghieri from Westminster University’s Active Travel Academy with climate charity Possible, found that across London about 90% of people live on residential streets, with few disparities across demographic differences.

The authors stress that steps should be taken to ease traffic flow on bigger roads. Prof Rachel Aldred said: “The report shows us that the large majority of Londoners, whatever their age, ethnicity, or income level, live on residential streets.

“This is, of course, not an argument for forgetting the one in 10 who live on high streets and main roads, but it does highlight the wide reach of low-traffic neighbourhoods, which are most easily introduced in residential streets.”

Extra funding for LTNs

The Department for Transport last week released an extra £175m for councils to create LTNs and cycle lanes. Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, has written to councils receiving new grants about consultation on new LTNs should involve objective polling rather than “listening only to the loudest voices”.

He goes on to write: “Very few changes to anything will command unanimous support, and we do not ask it for these schemes. But there is clear evidence that for all the controversy they can sometimes cause, ambitious cycling and walking schemes have significant, if quieter, majority support.”

Prof Rachel Aldred, one of the authors of the report, spoke to us last year about the road danger as part of our film Stop killing our Children.

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