Greenwich Cyclists Coordinator Neil Robertson has recently penned a piece in defence of low-traffic neighbourhoods entitled Thankful for LTNs. We reprint it here to help assure its wider distribution.
Greenwich and Bexley Green Party would like to put on record its full support for low-traffic neighbourhoods, safer cycling, walkable neighbourhoods and the lowering of air pollution.
It is our shared belief with Greenwich Cyclists that these positive benefits can be achieved without harming local residents or businesses – the key is to mobilise the political willpower!
The letter follows:
---Thankful for LTNs---
Air pollution, noise, and road danger blight many of our residential streets now, but it wasn’t always like this.
In 2009 there were 34 million vehicles on Britain’s roads, now there are 5 million more.
The number of miles driven has increased and the data shows that this increase spills over onto minor C class roads, our residential streets.
The growth of mobile phone apps which both direct and avoid traffic has led to further traffic increases in our residential streets.
The Mayors Transport Strategy requires boroughs to study and combat this rat running through the use of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), created mostly by introducing modal filters which are often just fixed bollards closing a road to motor traffic.
Greenwich has over 20 modal filters that have been in place for years but which most people have accepted without a problem. If you tried to remove these, I’m sure there would be an enormous backlash from the local residents.
Removal of rat running traffic in this way was achieved in Walthamstow’s "mini-Holland" scheme some years ago and initially drew significant opposition. Now, even some of the most vociferous objectors would not have it any other way, and the businesses there are growing.
LTNs may mean residents have a less direct exit from their street in a motor vehicle but the quieter streets encourage a real growth in active travel, especially walking and cycling.
We deserve Better Streets in Greenwich and LTN’s are a part of this. Improving our environment with safer, greener, friendlier streets would improve our health, our communities and ultimately save money and the planet.
Neil Robertson, Coordinator, Greenwich Cyclists