The flow of traffic through neighbourhoods has made them feel less safe and more polluted, leading people who live and work in the city to ask the council what can be done to make streets safer, healthier and more pleasant places.
In January the residents-led climate assembly listed the creation of healthier low traffic/pedestrianised communities as one of their top three recommendations and last year a group of residents from Hanover asked the council to set up a pilot scheme in their area.
On 16 March councillors at the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee welcomed the progress made with taking forward the pilot. It will be co-designed with local residents and councillors will review a further report in the autumn.
Councillor Amy Heley, chair of the committee, said: “Creating safe, people-friendly streets with fewer cars and more green space is clearly a priority for our residents. This pilot will contribute to our work to tackle the climate emergency and reduce harmful emissions.
“We can learn from this experience to take to other parts of the city.”
Sharing with communities
Councillor Gary Wilkinson, opposition spokesperson, said: “This initiative deserves to be shared, and along with the vision to develop a wider Low Traffic Neighbourhood delivery strategy, we’re pleased that options for low traffic neighbourhoods will also be explored across the city.
“We’ll work with communities to share good practice to create liveable places for all.”
Hanover and Elm Grove councillor Elaine Hills said: “We are excited to be taking forward a pilot for our area. These schemes have worked well in other places and have produced liveable streets, opening up safe space for meeting friends and neighbours and for children to play. In many areas they have made a more relaxed environment to enjoy the local area and its businesses.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Hanover community shapes this pilot.”
Many areas in London set up low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) last year.
Initial results from the Walthamstow Village LTN scheme showed an overall drop off 38% in traffic which was not displaced into neighbouring streets. The introduction of the Waltham Forest LTN has also seen a decrease in total street crime, according to a recent study.*
One of the first steps will be to conduct an accessibility street audit of the Hanover area to ensure the liveable streets initiative is inclusive from the start.
Councillors agreed to allocate initial funding of £300,000 from the Local Transport Plan capital programme for the project.
What is a low traffic neighbourhood?
A low traffic neighbourhood is where motor traffic is greatly reduced in a group of residential streets. It minimises the amount of ‘through’ traffic where vehicles are using streets to get to another destination or using quiet roads as a cut-through.
The schemes maintain easy access for vehicles to homes and businesses within the area and enable priority for emergency vehicles.
Traffic is reduced by installing ‘filters’ such as bollards and planters.
This can transform areas dominated by vehicles and open up streets so that more people can travel through the area on foot, bicycle, wheeling or by public transport.
It also provides the opportunity for on-street ‘green space.’ In the Hanover pilot it is hoped that there will be at least one ‘pocket park’ with plants looked after by residents.
Read the report on the Hanover Low Traffic Neighbourhood Pilot scheme development (Agenda item number 85) and watch a recording of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee.
Watch the London Living Streets film about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods can make more liveable streets.