Acton Central (north of Churchfield Road) (W3) area is a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) that was introduced in early September 2020, on an experimental basis, made possible with funding from Transport for London (TfL). There was significant concern that large numbers of people would drive in order to avoid contact with others on public transport due to social distancing measures. This could potentially lead to a large increase in rat-run traffic through this area.
Our streets are simply not designed for some of the high levels of traffic we are seeing on local roads. This is why the council is supporting residents to choose active travel like walking or cycling wherever possible, instead of taking shorter journeys in the car.
Evidence from across London and Ealing’s trials indicates that LTNs can help that change. LTNs can help to improve air quality and cutting down on harmful pollution that affects all of our health, our environment, and the climate. With reduced volumes of through traffic in neighbourhoods, it also can make using our roads and streets safer and more pleasant, making it easier to choose alternative, car free ways of getting around.
Description of the scheme
There has been a temporary installation of wooden planters, camera enforcement and accompanying signage to discourage rat-run traffic at the following locations:
- Cumberland Road, diagonal closure at north end at junction with Acacia Road
- Baldwyn Gardens, diagonal closure at south end on Crane Avenue junction
- Goldsmith Avenue; existing emergency gate in place with space will be changed to a full closure.
The emergency services and refuse vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists remain unaffected and continue to have access through the road closures. All other vehicles may have to find alternative routes. Residents continue to have access by car to their properties, but this may be via alternative directions.
Data collected to assess the impacts of Acton Central's LTN to April 2021
A summary of what the data indicates up to April 2021 for LTN 25: Acton Central is as follows:
A little over 950 comments were added to the dedicated Commonplace survey on LTN 25 up to 1 April 2021 by approximately 650 users made up of residents, and individuals who study, work, own a business and commute through the area.
21% indicated that they were in favour of the schemes, 2% were neutral, while 77% were against the proposals. Approximately 8,500 households are within the area affected by LTN 25, which includes boundary roads, equating to an engagement rate of less than rate of less than 8%, notwithstanding that all responses were from residents.
The most cited concern was the generation of longer journeys due to a change in vehicle access, followed by an increase in traffic, and having to take a different route.
LTN25 was designed to prevent traffic from routing along residential streets when routing between Horn Lane/Steyne Road and Churchfield Road in either direction. The introduction of the LTN might therefore have been expected to have an effect on traffic levels and congestion on the southern section of Horn Lane/Steyne Road and the western section of Churchfield Road.
The iBus data and Floow traffic flow data for Horn Lane/Steyne Road indicate that neither traffic levels nor congestion are a cause for concern. For the western end of Churchfield Road, the Floow traffic flow data indicates that traffic levels increased in the period following the following the introduction of the LTN. Although traffic levels reduced somewhat in the early part of 2021, they remained higher than prior to the pandemic.
An increase in pollution was cited as another key concern. Data from air quality monitoring from the diffusion tube placed in LTN 25 demonstrates that NO2 mean concentration levels from both the LTN initiative and the baseline NO2 regular monitoring programme, over the same period, remain below the EU limit value of 40micrograms per cubic metre (µɡ/m³).
Analysis also reveals that anti-social behaviour and crime patterns in the LTNs followed a similar pattern across the borough overall, suggesting that the introduction of LTNs has not had an impact on overall crime levels.
Meanwhile, those in favour of the proposals registered support as the scheme promotes a cycle friendly environment, followed by a decrease in traffic, and the creation of a more pleasant environment.
Moreover, approximately 200 emails were also sent to the council during this time which echoed similar concerns and reasons for support such as a reduction in traffic and imporvement in air quality.
The council continues to meet regularly with the emergency services to discuss the LTNs and work collaboratively to ensure that they feedback into the schemes. In December 2020, the council agreed to remove all bollards and replace with CCTV enforcement as part of the LTNs interim assessment to ensure that any potential emergency service access issues were removed.
Find out more information on the data sources used to assess the impacts of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. More data will be made available on this page, and on each respective LTN's page, in the upcoming weeks.
The final non-statutory consultation ended 23 July 2021.