Equalities impact assessment
In August 2020, we published an Equalities Impact Assessment. This assessed the impact of the Railton Low Traffic Neighbourhood on different demographic groups including the protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, sex) and socio-economic status.
The assessment has been repeated again in December 2020 where we were able to analyse additional data collected and consider any emerging impacts and potential improvements to ensure the best possible equality outcomes from the project.
- We gathered demographic data from the census
- Emerging data on C-19 pandemic
- Evidence of current inequalities in public realm and street infrastructure
- Existing transport strategy and equalities impact assessment
- Consulted design guides for best practice in urban realm such as TfL’s Healthy Streets.
Further data is being collected and mitigations developed and implemented accordingly to ensure that the positive benefits of low traffic neighbourhoods do not overlook the needs of some disabled residents who rely on motor vehicles
Primary findings: August 2020
Our initial EqIA did not identify any significant equalities impacts for the proposed changes. Providing safe (both road safety and reduced likelihood of infection) and affordable travel options to people from all socio‐economic backgrounds was seen as essential to improve equity in access to transport.
Potential benefits of the scheme identified:
- Creating a more inclusive street environment and reducing road danger with the potential to enable more people to participate in active travel. Specific groups identified:
- BAME groups: over‐represented in indices of deprivation and more likely to be exposed to transport related harmful impacts, such as traffic collisions, poor air quality and health inequalities.
- Lower income groups: less likely to be working from home, less likely to have access to a private vehicle, so more likely to have a particular need to walk/cycle in a safe environment without increased exposure to c‐19.
- Disabled people: much of current public realm / road network has the effect of excluding disabled people. The proposal seeks to address this for example, a safe space for cycles can improve mobility and access for disabled people
- A reduction in potential exposure to Covid-19 on public transport
- The potential for more physical activity, including play, in areas where amenities may be limited, offering the potential to address issues of obesity and well‐being
- A more attractive street environment as well as more physical space in which to operate for Local businesses (many owned by BAME groups), likely to help reduce economic inequalities
The analysis also highlighted the following potential negative equality impacts;
- Potential for longer journey times for disabled, or older people who may be more reliant on travel by motor vehicles
Review findings: December 2020
EqIA Review: An update identifying impacts on protected characteristics in light of community feedback.
As we gather data we are reviewing our initial equality impact assessment. This allows us to consider any emerging impacts and potential improvements to ensure the best possible equality outcomes from the project.
Initial potential benefit identified:
Creating a more inclusive street environment and reducing road danger with the potential to enable more people to participate in active travel.
Traffic data shows an overall decrease of car traffic in the LTN of -31% and -23% of HGVs traffic followed by a significant increase in cycling +32 overall with double the amount of cyclists travelling for instance on Rattray and Kellet road.
The overall reduction of traffic results in a significant reduction in turning movements in and out of side roads and a reduction in the likelihood of collisions along these roads by removing the majority of movements that are responsible for these collisions.
Traffic levels and air quality
Traffic data shows vehicle numbers at the majority of count locations on boundary roads around the low traffic neighbourhood are experiencing fewer motor vehicles compared to traffic levels pre-pandemic. Even when accounting for reduced travel as a result of Covid-19 these streets are still carrying fewer vehicles than expected if an LTN had not been introduced. This indicates that impacts materialising from the LTN both within and on roads around the area are more likely to be positive than negative. Results at this stage are encouraging but, once air quality modelling and monitoring results are available we will be able to explore this in more detail.
One location shows an increase in traffic levels (Coldharbour Lane by Electric Lane in Brixton town centre). In part, this increase can be expected as a result of the National Rail closure of Atlantic Road for bridge works. As a result of the LTN and Atlantic Road bridge works Coldharbour Lane is the sole route for vehicle access into the town centre to and from the A23.
We are working with TfL to adjust the traffic signals at the Atlantic Road x Coldharbour Lane junction to provide traffic capacity and to accommodate more priority to movements on Coldharbour Lane. Further analysis of congestion in and around the LTN will be performed as part of the stage 2 review.
Initial potential negative equality impact identified:
Potential for longer journey times for disabled, or older people who may be more reliant on travel by motor vehicles
Feedback gathered since the temporary scheme was launched indicates some individuals have had to change their routes to access essential services and support. This includes parents and carers of disabled children accessing schools and disabled people and carers accessing shops, pharmacies and GP services for essential goods, prescriptions and appointments. We have received feedback from disabled people who rely on motorised transport, and from SEND providers about the impact that the LTN has had on their journeys.
Full equality analysis can be found in the updated equality impact assessment.