Street shift

Think tank: Centre for London

Author(s): Nicolas Bosetti; Kieran Connelly; Claire Harding; Denean Rowe

June 9, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Centre for London looks at the future of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

This report explores the impact and effectiveness of low-traffic neighbourhoods in their overall aim of reducing private car usage in London. In 2020, in response to the pandemic and through the Emergency Active Travel Fund, local authorities received funding from the government to introduce low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs). Their intended purpose included reducing car traffic in implemented areas, in order to leave streets safer and encourage residents to switch to greener modes of travel including walking and cycling. Although not new to London’s streets, many of the schemes were highly controversial, with opposition from some road users. Street Shift: The Future of Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods reviews the concerns of Londoners and the experiences of local authorities to understand why LTNs have been divisive and what impact they’ve had so far. Based on these findings, the report proposes new ways to help make London’s streets healthier, safer and greener. Using a mixed-methods research approach including a review of studies looking at the impact of LTNs, technical guides on how to deliver LTNs, surveys on Londoners’ views, and roundtables with the professionals involved in implementing LTNs, our report concludes that LTNs are effective, but are only one part of the solution to reduce private car use and create healthier streets. Furthermore, to increase their effectiveness, we call for increased consultation and communication between residents and boroughs, alongside supporting measures that further encourage the switch to greener active travel.