Why is Ealing supportive of low traffic neighbourhoods?
LTNs help support our climate objectives
The environmental impact of road transport is significant, both locally, and globally. Studies have shown that 63 per cent of nitrogen oxides which contribute to poor air quality, and are a significant contributor to global warming, mostly come from road transport.
LTNs create more space for people to participate in active travel such as walking, cycling and scooting. With fewer people driving and more travelling actively, carbon emissions are reduced, reducing the contribution to climate change.
Reducing the environmental footprint of transport is one of Ealing’s core aims in the Transport Strategy and Climate Change Strategy. Reducing our contribution towards climate change will not only reduce the risk and severity of existing and future climate change related weather events, but will also improve the borough’s resilience to them. For example, increased physical activity of the local population will improve health and therefore resilience to extreme temperatures.
LTNs reduce rat running traffic in your local area and improve air quality
LTNs form part of the council’s solution to make Ealing a great healthy place to live, as by strategically closing a series of residential streets, it makes the journeys for those that were using the street as a cut through, more difficult. Evidence from Waltham Forest who introduced several LTNs saw that around 15 percent of non-local traffic from LTNs disappeared entirely as the drivers adjust their routes and behaviours. This led to a reported 90% reduction in household exposure to nitrogen dioxide after Waltham Forest Council installed over 40 filters in residential areas.
Research also indicates that annually, up to 9,000 early deaths across Greater London and 387 early deaths within Ealing are attributed to poor air quality. Reducing the dominance of cars in our residential areas counters this trend.
LTNs enable residential areas to become more accessible for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, walkers and cyclists
LTNs are designed to allow access to all residents by car, as well as the emergency services, deliveries and refuse collections. Therefore, those who are unable to walk or cycle will still be able to drive as usual, but for some routes this may take slightly longer. However, by making the area nicer and safer to walk and cycle, we hope that you will take advantage of this.
As LTNs render the area less enticing as a rat run, the streets become more accessible for wheelchairs, pedestrians and cyclists due to fewer vehicles passing through the area. Furthermore, quieter and safer roads mean those who would normally travel by car are more likely to feel able to travel actively. This leaves more space for families with young children and the mobility impaired to make journeys without fear of high traffic volumes or speeds.
LTNs still allow residents and other vehicles (like the emergency services) acess for local uses
All local streets will have complete motor access for local uses, such as residents accessing their property, visitors, waste collection, emergency services and deliveries. According to Living Streets, data shows that response times for emergency services decreases with LTNs because less traffic means they can reach their destination faster.
For more information about the background and benefits of LTNs, Transport for London (TfL) has produced a LTN fact sheet.
Low traffic neighbourhoods and COVID-19
In response to COVID-19 and to make sure residents can travel actively to help reduce poor air quality, ease congestion and make our streets safer, Ealing was awarded funding for several low traffic neighbourhoods by Transport for London (TfL). LTNs were specifically identified by Government as appropriate solutions to increase transport capacity and facilitate social distancing. The need to provide extra space for those travelling actively in the local area is essential for the post-lock down period where social distancing is needed, and public transport is at reduced capacity. There is significant concern that large numbers of people will drive in order to avoid contact with other people on public transport. The road network will not be able to accommodate these extra journeys, which will entail drivers choosing to rat run through residential neighbourhoods, which will impact residents.
Where are Ealing's COVID low traffic neighbourhoods?
The purpose of an LTN is to prevent increased future rat running (outlined in Government guidance) given the likely lack of public transport use due to COVID and social distancing. LTNs also have the effect of increasing the number of residents that travel actively, providing an environment where more people travel actively for shorter, local trips.
Using our local knowledge and expertise of LTNs as well as feedback from residents, areas were identified by proximity to major commuting routes, which indicate a high probability for rat- running. We are also aware that many popular sat-navs direct traffic through these areas when traffic builds up on other roads. Since then, analysis conducted by TfL, which is also available in map form, view the likely future traffic impacts in Ealing, has shown that the areas chosen are likely to see significant increases in traffic as public transport continues to operate well below capacity.
Eight LTNs have been installed to date, these are:
- LTN 25: Acton Central (north of Churchfield Road) (W3) - installed early-September 2020
- LTN 48: Adrienne Avenue (UB1) - installed late-July 2020
- LTN 34: Bowes Road (W3) - installed late-July 2020
- LTN 32: Junction Road Area LTN (W5) - installed mid-August 2020
- LTN 35: Mattock Lane (W5) - installed late-August 2020
- LTN 8: Olive Road (W5) - installed early-August 2020
- LTN 20: West Ealing North (W13) - installed late-September 2020
- LTN 21: West Ealing South (W13) - installed late-August 2020
The following LTNs are due for installation shortly, these are:
- LTN 30: Loveday Road (W13) - we are reprogramming this scheme for implementation. More information will be provided on the anticipated installation date on this page in due course.
- LTN 33: East Acton Golf Links (W3) - Ealing is in discussions with TfL over the layout of this LTN. More information will be provided on the anticipated installation date on this page in due course.
All dates are estimates and may be subject to change.
Features Ealing is using for the LTNs
Large planters (large wooden or concrete containers filled with flowers or non-flowering plants, often used a street furniture) and drop-down bollards (for use by the emergency services and refuse vehicles only), will be used for all LTNs to transform residential streets into quieter and safer roads. Following discussions with the London Ambulance Service, the council has already made some changes to some of the schemes which includes removing key operated drop-down bollards and replacing these with camera enforcement to ensure response times are maintained.
Has Ealing consulted with the emergency services?
Ealing Council has ongoing engagement with all of the emergency services about low traffic neighbourhoods. This will continue throughout the trial period so that the council can work with the emergency services to implement changes based on their feedback. TfL have also carried out London-wide engagement with emergency services. No formal objections have been received from the emergency services.
The London Ambulance Service was not consulted at the same time as the Metropolitan Police and the London Fire Brigade but this has been rectified. Although delayed, feedback from the London Ambulance Service on all of Ealing’s low traffic neighbourhood schemes has been given. The council has apologised to the Ambulance Service. The London Ambulance Service has acknowledged that since this issue came to light the constructive way in which Ealing have engaged with them and taken on board their recommendations could serve as an approach to follow.
Following engagement with emergency services, Ealing has made a number of changes to low traffic neighbourhoods, including replacing bollards with ANPR cameras at some locations. Should the emergency services make any further recommendations, the council will work with them to implement changes.