LTNs reduce crime say police

LTN in London

Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) reduce crime, according to the Met.

London’s police force responded to a consultation with a report on the effect of liveable streets on antisocial behaviour in Tower Hamlets:

For Arnold Circus there were 11 ASB (anti-social behaviour) and 5 drugs calls in the past 6 months compared with 36 for ASB and 6 for drugs in the 6 months pre-implementation which is quite a significant drop and in-line with the response from the Safer Neighbourhood Team responsible for this area:

I consider the road management measures that were brought in to have had a positive effect. I am surprised there is consideration to remove them. Of particular concern are the proposed amendments to the roads further West. Prior to the changes there was an enormous level of car enabled ASB, drug dealing, NOx balloon usage etc which made life a misery for many of the residents in the streets around Arnold Circus and surrounding. This was due to the spill-out from the Shoreditch NTE. This has been dramatically reduced by the traffic management changes and forces those committing crime back onto the well-lit, CCTV covered main roads which are much easier for us to manage.

In summary, the MPS is concerned with the plans to remove these measures both in terms of a potential increase in crime, specifically ASB related, and also increasing road danger.

met police report on LTN

LTNs tackle road danger

Research found road injuries halved in low-traffic neighbourhoods installed during the coronavirus pandemic – the greatest reduction being among drivers and pedestrians. It’s an improvement in safety more than twice that brought by 20mph urban speed limits, which reduced injuries by 23% following their introduction in London about 20 years ago.

However, piecemeal measures don’t make roads any safer or hospitable for walking and cycling; effective road harm reduction relies a systematic approach. When we spoke to Maartje van Putten – first president elect of the Stop de Kindermoord protest movement and former MEP – she explained how The Netherlands embarked on the transformation of its streets.

The benefits of LTNs

The vast majority of people in London live on streets that could be part of low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) according to a recent 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 per cent 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.”

Prof Rachel Aldred, co-author of the report, spoke to us about the road harm as part of our film Stop killing our Children.

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