‘Utter madness’: Drivers slam low traffic neighbourhoods over ‘traffic and gridlock’ fears

Nick Ferrari clashes with guest over Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

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A recent study from the National Centre for Social Research (NetCen) found that more than half of participants (32 of 63) had not changed their mind on low traffic neighbourhoods. Among those who changed their views, around 50 percent supported LTNs to a greater extent.

Around a third were more opposed than when they began deliberations.

A low traffic neighbourhood is a scheme where motor vehicle traffic in residential streets is greatly reduced, which is done by minimising the amount of traffic that comes from vehicles using the streets to get to another destination.

From the research NatCen recommended that more information is given to local residents who may be affected by the introduction of an LTN to better inform them.

There should also be a clear implementation of such a scheme, with clearly visible cameras and signage, and grace periods where warnings are given rather than fines.

Many participants also said that investment should be made to other measures such as cycle lanes and bus services to make it easier to leave the car at home.

Polly Billington, Chief Executive of UK100, a network of local leaders, praised the report and highlighted the benefits they can have on residents.

She said: “This is a welcome report which shows that, on average, LTNs have made a real improvement in reducing traffic on affected roads, without a big increase in roads nearby.

“Clearly, the public want to see the evidence that supports LTNs and for sensible tweaks to be made to ensure that they benefit everyone in the community, cutting air pollution and helping us meet our climate change obligations.”

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NatCen also believes that when implementing such a scheme, exemptions and resident passes should be available for those who need exemptions under the right conditions, including blue badge holders.

Another critical factor that needs to be considered when introducing an LTN is how the barriers will work for emergency services.

The study found that barriers and planters – which are used to block access to roads – need to be more flexible to allow access for key groups including the police, ambulances and the fire service. 

One resident from Wandsworth who took part in the project, said: “I feel a lot more educated about LTNs and their purpose.

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