Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: Your Streets, Your Say

In favour of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Consult residents before implementation
Use cameras to allow LTN residents and blue badge holders through some local filters


  1. Implement Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) that work for the benefit of all residents and do not pitch pedestrians, cyclists and motorists against each other. 
  2. Set up Citizens’ Assemblies to ensure that, going forward, local people have a real say and can work together to improve their neighbourhoods. 
  3. Use camera-controlled traffic filters to recognise number plates so that local residents and businesses, and Blue Badge holders have continued direct access to their own streets.

Five things you need to know about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

  1. LTNs are a proven way of reducing traffic on residential streets, making them quiet, less polluted and safe for everyone. They reduce, in time, car journeys overall as people are encouraged to cycle, walk or use public transport.
  2. A key objective of LTNs is to stop “rat-running”, which is when drivers try to drive between main roads by using smaller, usually residential, streets. The growth in recent years of sat nav apps has increased the usage of minor streets by over 70% in London since 2009.
  3. There need not be a one size fits all design of LTNs. They should  be designed with the involvement and consensus of local residents. In other words, proper consultation - before decisions are taken - is essential.
  4. Technology, such as cameras that can read number-plates, can help ensure that LTNs are implemented in a sensitive way, respecting the needs of residents and Blue Badge holders, while ensuring that “rat-runners” are kept out of residential streets. 
  5. LTNs can be controversial and cause upset if seen as an attempt to ban cars altogether. But it doesn't need to be this way. When Councils listen to the people who live in the affected streets, it is possible for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to work together to design LTNs that work for all. 


More Information

What are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods?

Low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are residential roads in which strategic “point closures” allow vehicle access to all addresses in a neighbourhood but reduce through traffic. They make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists as well as reduce air and noise pollution.

What are Citizens' Assemblies?

Traditionally, Council consultations take place after essential decisions have been taken. Residents can feel like they are given a “take it or leave it” choice or just a choice between minor variations of the same policy. With a Citizens’ Assembly, a proper cross-section of the neighbourhood is represented. Proposals are discussed, with the help of expert input, before any decisions are taken. Citizens’ Assemblies are widely used in Scotland and elsewhere and have a good track record of ensuring that communities take the best decisions for everyone.

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