“Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have a role in traffic reduction but are only a part of the solution”
says Friends of the Earth
There has been a shocking increase of road traffic in Ealing, with an increase of 130 million (17%) in vehicle miles from 2012 to 2019. (1) “This has got to be reversed now”, says Nic Ferriday of Ealing Friends of the Earth (EFoE).
EFoE therefore asks communities, drivers and non-drivers to give LTNs a chance to ‘bed in’: that means seeing in the schemes for a minimum of six months or more, before contributing to the end point assessment of the trial LTNs.
LTNs can, and do actually reduce traffic overall in LTN areas: “Around 15% of displaced traffic disappears from the area entirely as drivers adjust routes and behaviour.” (2) On residential streets, traffic more than halved in Waltham Forest’s LTNs.
LTNs can only be a part of a package of measures needed to reduce traffic. For example, a well-designed network of safe cycling routes should complement the LTNs. For this purpose, EFoE urges the Council to use some of its share of the most recent Department for Transport funding, announced by Minister Grant Shapps.(3)
LTNs are a Government-funded idea which has not allowed time for Councils to engage with the public beforehand. Understandably, people feel LTNs have been sprung on them; it’s also true that change can at first be disturbing. “But if we in Ealing don’t face the need for change, we’re sleepwalking into a future threatened by an air pollution and climate emergency” concluded Nic.
Better Streets Ealing
Better Streets Ealing is a collective of local residents and groups who want to improve Ealing’s streets. It was set up after meeting over the vandalised planters and thefts of bollards. The group is promoting active travel and believes that low traffic neighbourhoods can bring benefits to Ealing.