Lambeth is a local authority with some of the lowest car ownership levels in the country. Households without access to a car or van are in the majority and in some areas over 70% of households are car free.
But this fact isn’t immediately evident with some local streets suffering from high levels of motor traffic. Problems related to ‘rat running’ on residential streets include poor air quality, an increased risk of collisions and a sense that making trips by cycle or on foot are not safe or pleasant options.
This plan takes the highway network as a whole and considers which roads are suitable for carrying non-local traffic and which are not. This is the basis for defining neighbourhood areas, with the default position being that streets within each neighbourhood should only carry motor traffic generated by the local residents and businesses within it. Often it is only a few streets in a neighbourhood that suffer from very high levels of rat running. But addressing these streets in isolation from neighbouring ones can merely displace traffic to other nearby local streets.
A neighbourhood-wide approach can help address these issues.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are not a new concept, they have been a staple of planning in the Netherlands and elsewhere for decades. Recently they have been implemented more widely in cities seeking to improve the urban experience by prioritising people over motor traffic. An example in London is the ’Enjoy Waltham Forest’ scheme. This demonstrated that changes to traffic management in an area can be controversial. However, post implementation assessment of that scheme found that it delivered the objective of decreasing traffic levels in the neighbourhood, and of increasing the number of residents making trips by walking and cycling. Only 1.7% of residents surveyed would scrap the scheme and revert back to the former layout. Further information on the concept of Low Traffic neighbourhoods1 and how they can be created2 is available in guidance notes written by Living Streets.
Our three-year spending plan for TfL funding allocated a budget of £655k (2019/20–2021/22) to create low traffic neighbourhoods. This document sets out where this budget should be directed and how residents can work with us to develop designs for their areas. It also establishes the framework for how we will assess which neighbourhood areas are most affected by rat running and where action will best address the objectives of our Transport Strategy.
Read more about the low traffic neighbourhoods plan in the full PDF - Appendix B TSIP Low Traffic Neighbourhoods