In 2020, we introduced the Streatham Hill Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) on a trial basis to help people travel safely whilst capacity on public transport was dramatically reduced due to COVID-19. Although the LTN was accelerated as part of the pandemic emergency response, Streatham Hill was also a strategic part of the council’s 2019 Transport Strategy Implementation Plan to achieve a 27% reduction in traffic across the borough by 2030.
To form the LTN, seven planters (image here) which act as traffic filters were introduced on the following roads:
- Rosedene Avenue
- Palace Road
- Amesbury Avenue West
- Hillside Road
- Amesbury Avenue East
- Downtown Road
- Mount Nod Road
People walking, wheeling, cycling and scooting are able to access the LTN through any traffic filter. Blue Badge holders as well as taxis, refuse collection vehicles and emergency services can apply for a dispensation to access one traffic filter location – however, the traffic filters were designed to prevent other cars, vans and motor vehicles from using quiet streets as shortcuts. Following a grace period, motorists who drove through traffic filters began to receive fines.
LTNs make it safer and easier to walk, wheel, scoot and cycle by increasing feelings of safety, reducing air pollution and making local destinations more appealing. Over time, LTNs can encourage people to switch from driving to healthier and more sustainable ways of travelling. This is one impactful way we can tackle the climate emergency in Streatham Hill and throughout Lambeth.
Lambeth commissioned independent transport consultancies (including SYSTRA, MHTC and The Floow) to collect data on changes to traffic volume and air quality throughout the trial. You can read the Streatham Hill LTN monitoring stage 2 report. Analysis of the data demonstrates that:
- The overall volume of motor traffic recorded across all streets within and on the boundaries of the LTN has reduced by 5%, around 6,100 vehicles less per day.
- Traffic on internal streets has decreased by 54%. Traffic has increased by 13% on external streets (boundary roads). On Hillside Road, traffic volumes have decreased by 90%, while Hailsham Avenue saw a 76% reduction. Traffic has increased by 7% on Leigham Vale.
- Cycling has increased by 54% on internal roads, and by 57% on external roads.
- All locations selected for air quality monitoring and classed as ‘sensitive’ (e.g., outside schools and care homes) had air quality within legal limits. This includes sensitive sites on boundary roads.
- Overall air quality in Lambeth is improving, partly due to measures such as the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. We expect to see greater improvements over time.
From November – December 2021, we held a consultation to hear people’s views on the trial. Some positive comments included:
- A reduction in traffic (especially speeding traffic) on residential streets
- Improved levels of safety
- A reduction in noise and air pollution
- Improvements to the public realm and opportunities for walking, wheeling and cycling
Some residents had concerns about:
- Vehicle access for residents and taxis
- Traffic volume increase on boundary roads and the impact on emergency service times
- Impacts on people with protected characteristics (esp. disabled people)
- Quieter streets feeling unsafe
Following a thorough analysis of consultation responses and monitoring data, we have decided to make the Streatham Hill LTN permanent. We’ve taken residents’ concerns into account by:
- Conducting an equalities impact assessment
- Writing a decision report with key actions
- Providing exemptions to some motorists
Our next steps, including how residents can be involved, are outlined below.
Before designing and constructing several new and upgraded schemes within the LTN, we are consulting with the local community to better understand their needs and thoughts on potential new features.
We will be upgrading existing traffic filters at five different locations: Hillside Road, Amesbury Avenue, Faygate Road, Perran Road and Palace Road (eastern end). Streatham Hill will also be benefiting from several wider improvement schemes, including disability access improvements, cycling parking and greening. These changes will be added to our Commonplace page in the near future to gather the community’s thoughts and opinions.
We’ve also allocated collaborative design budget for larger-scale public realm improvements on Amesbury Avenue and to upgrade the filter at Palace Road and Daysbrook Road. Collaborative design will allow residents to contribute ideas and share their views on changes and upgrades from the very start of the design process. The two collaborative design sites were carefully selected using the following criteria:
1. Level of deprivation. We prioritise work in areas with higher levels of deprivation to reduce inequalities related to air pollution, car ownership and access to green space.
2. Alignment with Lambeth’s Kerbside Strategy. We prioritise sites that offer more potential to implement Lambeth’s Kerbside Strategy.
3. Proximity to a Lambeth Healthy Route. We prioritise sites that lie directly on a Healthy Route or act as a link to a Healthy Route.
4. Potential to support community and business activation. Active, sustainable travel helps businesses and community groups flourish – check out the economic benefits of walking and cycling.
5. Climate resilience. Greening our neighbourhoods will help protect against the impacts of climate change. We therefore prioritise sites that can accommodate greening and SUDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems).
An online consultation where residents can contribute ideas for changes on Amesbury Avenue and Palace Road/Daysbrook Road was open from 16 January to 28 February 2023. To reach as many people as possible, we encouraged residents to submit their hand-written ideas to our neighbourhood mailboxes. Council officers have also been organising in-person engagement events, including leafletting, door-knocking and stakeholder workshops.
Results from the consultation period will soon be shared with the public as an update on Commonplace. The results will be used alongside event and workshop feedback from the public to inform designs.
We expect construction of the permanent LTN to begin in winter 2023 You can stay up to date with the latest project developments on Commonplace.