Ask 1: Low traffic neighbourhoods for all Southwark Communities

Traffic on minor roads in London has nearly doubled in the last decade due to apps like Google Maps and Waze. In that time traffic on main roads has largely stayed the same, even dropping slightly on some. Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) rebalance the road network while improving the quality of life for people in the community.

Every street within an LTN is still accessible by car, but by restricting through-traffic, it makes them safer for people walking and cycling. Concerns about mixing with traffic is the biggest deterrent to people cycling. This is done so by placing modal filters (e.g. bollards or planters) strategically to prevent people driving from using these minor roads as shortcuts or to avoid traffic lights. The end-result are neighbourhoods where active travel is a more pleasant way to travel.

Schemes can be accompanied by on street greening and secure cycle parking. These changes must be done in a way that benefits all residents. Schemes must be monitored and improved when necessary, including measures to mitigate and reduce traffic on main roads.

The benefits of LTNs are:

  • Traffic, air pollution, noise and danger drop off dramatically within the LTN.
  • Traffic in the overall area drops thanks to traffic evaporation. As people are given alternatives for short trips, and those trips become slightly more inconvenient, people make less car trips.
  • Streets on the boundary of the LTN are safer by improving junction safety. Junctions are the most dangerous parts of our road network, with less people making turns into an LTN, it’s safer for people walking and cycling along boundary roads to cross those junctions.
  • Every street can still be accessed by car for resident access and deliveries.
  • Children can play and neighbours can socialise in the street.

Read more on our All About LTNs page.

Our Ask

We’re asking Southwark Council to adopt a borough wide LTN strategy and to strategically and quickly implement LTNs across the borough, especially in the most polluted and/or deprived areas, which have the lowest car ownership.

Read about Ask 2: A joined-up network of safe, direct walking and cycling routes