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130 groups unite in open letter supporting Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

"Lockdown opened the country’s eyes to a different way that streets could be," say campaigners...

More than 100 organisations have signed an open letter supporting Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) as protesters against such schemes, which are aimed at retaining access to residential streets for the people who live there while blocking rat-running drivers aiming to avoid main roads, continue their vocal opposition to them.

Joining local residents’ groups that are supportive of such schemes in signing the letter are organisations including London Cycling Campaign and Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament, plus 20’s Plenty For Us, the Brighton & Hove Green Party and Coventry’s Bicycle Mayor, Adam Tranter.

As we reported last week on road.cc, one scheme in Northfields in the London Borough of Ealing had planters, designed to restrict access to certain streets, vandalised, overturned and even moved within 24 hours of them being installed.

> Oil poured on roads and vandalism as protests against low-traffic neighbourhoods turn nasty

While LTNs have been around for decades, local authorities in the capital and beyond are using emergency active travel funding from the government to roll more of them out.

The letter, published a week after the Bike Is Best campaign which unites more than 50 cycle brands and organisations, wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to warn that delays in implementing infrastructure projects and local authorities caving in to opponents of such schemes risked wrecking his vision of “a new golden age of cycling.”

> Bikelash! PM urged to act as fears grow that golden age of cycling could fall victim to govt delay and anti-cycling sentiment

It reads:

We, the undersigned, wish to express our support of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods tackling congestion on residential and main roads and give our thanks to the local councils who are working to ensure our streets are safe for everyone.

Lockdown opened the country’s eyes to a different way that streets could be -- places that welcomed walking, cycling, and socially distanced cups of tea with neighbours. Roads were transformed from dangerous thoroughfares to playgrounds for local children. As lockdown eases and communities all over the country re-open, it would be devastating for our communities if everyone abandoned public transport and started driving private vehicles instead. Now more than ever we need safe and spacious routes for walking and cycling to stop the air and noise pollution, and danger that traffic inflicts on our neighbourhoods. That’s why we welcome the leadership of councils who are working tirelessly to make sure changes to streetspace aren’t lost as life returns to normal.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, when designed well, massively reduce motor traffic, allowing kids to play outside and local residents to walk and cycle more, with less dependency on their cars. In the few weeks since Salford introduced their Low Traffic Neighbourhood trial, reports are already circulating of families taking to the streets on their bikes, delighting in the new space. And in more established Low Traffic Neighbourhoods like Waltham Forest in London, residents have seen transformative changes to the school run. Once traffic is removed from side streets, vulnerable road users can travel safely on foot, benefiting the whole community, not only those that live there. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are one of several vital approaches needed to reduce car dependency, and combat climate change, air pollution, obesity, road danger and more. Where they’ve gone in, shops and cafes within the scheme have seen huge footfall increases, while shops on the edges have done well too.

We hope this is just the beginning of an ambitious plan to transform our streets for the better -- with speed reduction, safer crossings, anti-social parking enforcement, protected cycle lanes, controlled parking zones, an increase in cycle parking, parklets, and other incentives to reduce car ownership. We support Low Traffic Neighbourhoods that reduce congestion and air pollution on residential and main roads and we call for more local councils to work with residents to implement them.

Here is the full list of signatories to the letter:

20’s Plenty For Us
Action Vision Zero
Active Things
Adam Tranter, Bicycle Mayor for Coventry
Barnsbury & St Mary's Neighbourhood Group, Islington
Better Streets for Enfield
Better Streets for Grove Park
Better Streets for Havering
Better Streets for Kensington and Chelsea
Better Streets for Newham
Better Streets for Tower Hamlets
Bikes for Refugees (Scotland)
Blackford Safe Routes, Edinburgh
Bloomsbury Air
Breathe in Brighton
Bricycles, Brighton & Hove Cycling Campaign
Brighton and Hove Green Party
Bromley Living Streets
Burgess & Hall Wines
CAA - Edinburgh
Camcycle - Cambridge Cycling Campaign
Car-Free Norwich
Citizens UK Just Transition Campaign
Clean Air for Dulwich
Clean Air for Streatham Hill
Clean School Air
Greener & Cleaner Bromley & Beyond
Climate Action Newcastle
Corstorphine Climate Action
Croydon Living Streets
Crystal Palace LTN (CPLTN)
Cycle Ipswich
Cycle Islington
Cycle Sisters
Dalovelo
Davidson’s Mains Primary School Bike Bus team, Edinburgh
DeptfordFolk
Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School
Ealing Green Party
East Hillside LTN Group
Enjoy London Fields
Extinction Rebellion Hammersmith & Fulham
Forest Hill Society’s Clean Air For SE23 campaign
Fossil Free Islington
Fossil Free Newham
Fox Lane LTN
Green Liberal Democrats
Green School Runs
GrowN22 C.I.C.
H&F Circles
Hammersmith and Fulham Cycling
Hanover Action
Hanover Liveable Neighbourhood
Hart's Cyclery
Havering Cyclists
Healthy Streets Bounds Green
Histon and Impington Healthy Streets
Hilltop E17 Community
Hot Milk Cafe
Hounslow Cycling Campaign
I Like Clean Air
#inspiringsustainableislington
James Gillespie's Primary School
Joji Skin Care Ltd
JoyRiders London C.I.C.
Lambeth Living Streets
Lambeth Cyclists
Lewisham Cyclists
Living Streets North Tyneside
London Cycling Campaign
London Living Streets
LowTrafficLDNFields
Low Traffic Corstorphine
Make Lee Green
Markhouse Residents' Mini Holland Group
Merton Residents’ Transport Group, Merton, London
Mobilities Justice CIC
Mums for Lungs
Neu Architects Ltd
Newcastle Cycling Campaign
Newham Cyclists
Niveous Limited
OMA Bikes
Pedals: Nottingham Cycle Campaign
Pedal on Parliament
Pedal People
Pedestrianise Staplehurst Road
Plastic Free Pantry Ltd
PlayMeetStreet North Tyneside
Possible
Quiet & Still LTD
RailtonLTN
Roasting House
Roseburn Cycle Route Support Group
Runsome
Safe Roads for Tulse Hill
Safer Stoneyhurst
Save Oval Streets
School Streets Initiative
SPACE for Fenham and Arthur's Hill
SPACE for Gosforth
SPACE for Heaton
SPACE for Jesmond
Spokes Porty
Spokes, the Lothian Cycle Campaign
Spokes South Edinburgh
Southwark Cyclists
St George’s Hospital Bicycle Users Group
St Mary’s Walthamstow, London
Streetlife Nottingham
Sustainable Transport Shropshire
Sustrans
Tooting Healthy Streets
Tower Hamlets Wheelers
Transition Town Tooting Environmental Group
Transport Initiatives
Queens Boundary Community
Urmston Bee Network
Urban Good CIC
Walk And Cycle London CIC
Walk Ride Bath
Walk Ride Bolton Borough
Walk Ride Greater Manchester
Walk Ride Heatons
Walk Ride Salford
Walworth Healthy Streets
Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign
Wandsworth Cycling Campaign
We Love Salters
We Support Waltham Forest Mini Holland
Westminster Healthy Streets
York Cycle Campaign

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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