LTN's do NOT create boundary road traffic - PROOF!

The verdict is out … and it teaches us a few lessons

The good news is that after detailed analysis, promoted by our friends at Possible (speak to @akwesi.osei ) but carried out by the academics at University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy, there is evidence that creating “Low Traffic Neighbourhoods” does not significantly increase traffic on the surrounding (or “boundary”) roads.

This means that these interventions not only decrease the vehicle traffic on the residential roads they enclose, but they do not affect the neighbouring streets and could be contributing to the overall “evaporation” of car driving journeys by encouraging alternative travel modes, such as public transport and active travel.

I am sure that many of us here are really happy to have evidence to point to as “boundary road congestion” is a frequent topic from those who object to any interventions.

The sad news is that despite there being almost 100 LTNs in London alone, the team only had usable data for less than half of them. This is because the councils that have implemented the LTNs failed to gather sufficient data on the traffic flows before and after the intervention, and sometimes none at all.

This lack of data is a major issue when any argument arises because it becomes a matter of subjective perception, not observed fact, and so it becomes hard to come to any agreements.

This is exactly why we think that Telraam has an important service to offer, because it is not only affordable to have sensors within an area to monitor increases in active travel, but also to establish traffic patterns on the surrounding roads. It also engages both the supporters and objectors who want to have evidence to prove their cases, and to then subsequently see if proposed solutions are having the intended effect.

Hopefully we will see more councils do what we see happening all over Belgium and The Netherlands already, and is increasingly popular in Germany and France, and have local Telraam networks in place to get this data, and citizen engagement.

In any case, it feels hopeful that we have more evidence to encourage better mobility planning, and a call for better data!

The full report can be accessed here