Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – the time has come

Has the concept of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood reached a turning point that will see it going from a fringe idea to a national or international movement?  Will 90 years of car-oriented development now begin to be rolled back?  The 100 strong turn-out at the excellent UDG-London Living Streets event on 31 Jan 2019, attended by Peter Hale and Charles Harvey, would seem to suggest that the moment has come.

Chris Martin from Urban Movement opened the event by illustrating two diametrically different approaches to urban design, firstly, a road traffic interchange in Huston, Texas, and secondly the entire urban core of Florence, which would fit comfortably within it.   Points that he covered included the need to work with local people to identify and agree traffic cells, the connecting quiet streets, which streets will form the main traffic routes and which of these will need to be improved to become boulevards.   Providing safe crossings where the link streets cross main traffic routes was essential.

Feryal Demirci Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, Transport and Parks, Hackney talked about the challenges and progress being made in the borough.  Hackney was experiencing rapid population expansion, very poor air quality, congestion, obesity especially in young people, and yet it had low car ownership and over 15 percent of residents cycled to work.    Some streets in the borough had high cycle flows, with Goldsmith Road recording 6000 cyclists per day.  The borough was repurposing kerbside space, with cycle hangers and parklets.  Footways were being prioritised with both cycle hangers and electric vehicle charging points going in the carriageway not on the footway.  School Streets were being promoted, involving timed traffic restrictions around schools, backed by cameras and signs.  Traffic flows were typically half previous levels.   The borough was also introducing restrictions on all but ultra low emission vehicles.  As to low traffic neighbourhoods, over 100 streets had now been filtered.  She gave the impression that while there could be opposition from vehicle users from outside the area, local communities were strongly behind the introduction of schemes.  Play streets had been made much easier and less costly to introduce following creative use of the provisions of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847

Fran Graham from the London Cycling Campaign, argued that Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were an effective response to the impact of Satnav, Google maps, Waze etc which has led to increased through-traffic disrupting residential areas in the search for quicker, congestion free routes.  Turning to cycling, she indicated that traffic levels as low as 2000, 1500, or 1000 PCU per day were preferred to enable safe cycling  (PCU – Passenger Car Unit ) This is on a par with  Manual for Streets which cites 100 vehicles per hour peak flow as a threshold level below which pedestrians will share highway space with motorists, and above which they will tend to treat the general path taken by motor vehicles as a ‘road’ to be crossed rather than as a space to occupy.

Laurie Johnston, from the Dulwich Safe Routes to school campaign, observed that regrettably, responsibility for safety is placed on children, not on drivers. (NB research shows that children do not have the cognitive abilities to take responsibility, the law also recognises that they do not have the same capacity as adults). One street is not enough, she said, what is needed is a network of safe door to door routes

Rachel Aldred, for the University of Westminster discussed the research available to date.  The Mini Holland schemes had been assessed comparing areas with interventions with control areas where no changes had been made.  The results were positive with a notable increase in active travel in year 1, which continued into year 2 where there was a recorded reduction in car use. A scheme in Hounslow which involved no more than 2 planters had led new pedestrian and cycle journeys being made, amounting to a £500,000 health benefit.   There were Equality Act reasons for considering low traffic neighbourhoods.  The statistics showed that disabled pedestrians suffered  4-5 times more injuries from motor vehicles per kilometre than the general population.

In the discussion issues that came up included:

·         Traffic Evaporation or Traffic Displacement

·         Using ped-sheds to get a far more accurate view of walkability than just drawing a circle around a point.

·         Local community roadwatch groups to control speeding

·         Involve schools – at least one member of staff to be advocate

·         School streets are valuable but more is needed – children do more than just go to school.

·         Funding of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – S106 funds can be a useful source

Further reading

Guide to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods


This publication provides plenty of detailed information on the physical measures that can be applied, as well as a series of steps to follow to take a scheme from an idea to a safer, cleaner, healthier and more social environment.

LB Barnet Draft (transport) Local Implementation Plan 3 2018-2041

This response to the consultation is from (Barnet Cyclists), the local borough group of London Cycling Campaign (LCC). We represent the interests of cyclists living or working in Barnet and aim to expand the opportunities for all to cycle safely in the borough.


The draft plan in its current form does not fully address the issues faced by Barnet, in particular the lack of safe space for cycling on direct routes and within neighbourhoods.

Our response identifies further challenges and opportunities, focuses on why the borough transport objectives are not sufficiently robust to achieve the desired shift to walking, cycling and public transport set by the Mayor’s Transport Strategy up to 2041, and suggests further measures and targets.

The consultation was published here: https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/Transport_Local_Plan

Our response focussed on four main topics:

  • Strategic Cycle Network
  • Liveable / Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Behavioural Change
  • Additional Targets

Continue reading “LB Barnet Draft (transport) Local Implementation Plan 3 2018-2041”

Let Barnet Council know your views on transport

The council are gathering views until Sunday 9th December on what their transport priorities should be over the next 3 years and looking forward to 2041.

We ask you to view this important consultation and respond here: https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/Transport_Local_Plan

You may wish to focus on your top 3 priorities for your part of Barnet and what you would like to happen. Don’t be put off by the 110-page consultation document – a lot is just copied from the TfL strategy. Look in particular at the delivery plan starting on page 62 and the long terms aims on page 80 to see what they are actually proposing or not proposing.

We met council officials on 4th December and raised three main topics:

  • Strategic Cycle Network
  • Liveable / Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
  • Behavioural Change

You may have other priorities, but if you agree with these here are some bullet points to think about: Continue reading “Let Barnet Council know your views on transport”

An appeal to members in the southern part of the borough

We have been approached by an organisation called THOCH (The Hope of Childs Hill). It runs a bike project at Basing Hill Park (Between Wayside NW11 and the Hendon Way NW2) with professional instructors and help from local volunteers. It teaches basic cycling skills to both adults and children. Times are: 12-2 Saturdays and 2-4 Sundays. They would like help with basic cycle maintenance and leading easy local rides for adults.

Website: www.thoch.org.uk

For further information contact Anthony info@thoch.org.uk

I have done two sessions with them, so if you want a feel of what’s involved, please feel free to contact me charles.harvey@hotmail.co.uk

020 8455 5174 / 07961 194 771.

I feel it’s the sort of organisation Barnet Cyclists should be supporting. You wouldn’t be expected to make a regular commitment. You can turn up and help as and when you can.

Charles Harvey

Campaign Group News – July 2018

Barnet Cyclists (BC) has a campaign group which responds to council consultations and keeps an eye on proposed developments that may affect cycling. Some of the issues we’ve been dealing with recently are:

Stay Wider of the Rider campaign: This is a London-wide LCC campaign and we’d encourage BC members to add close passes to the map. See https://barnetlcc.org/stay-wider-of-the-rider/ for details.

Brent X new railway station: I’ve attended the two recent exhibitions. There will be cycle parking and lifts to the platforms and a bridge over the railway line but no details of the design yet. Planned completion date is 2022.

Pentavia Retail Park – revised proposals consultation: Jon K and Jon C have submitted observations on the revised scheme, maintaining our objections while welcoming some of the improvements.

High St Barnet consultation: I have submitted objections with advice from Jon C and Simon Munk from the LCC and input from other members of the Campaign Group.

Playing fields consultation (Barnet, West Hendon, Copthall/Mill Hill): Campaign Group members have submitted responses to all three consultations. Barnet and Copthall both have cycle routes through them and a cycle route runs to the south of the West Hendon Playing Fields along the north shore of the Welsh Harp reservoir.

Dockless pool bikes: Jon C and Jon K had submitted observations on Barnet’s plans. Urbo, the councils preferred supplier, had have now pulled out of London.

Liaison with Haringey LCC group: We try to keep in touch with that is happened in adjoining boroughs. I’ve had a useful meeting with Selena Calder (Haringey LCC). LB Haringey had made a successful bid to TfL for a Liveable Neighbourhood plan in Crouch End. They have no further news on the proposed Hornsey – North Finchley Quietway.

Basing Hill Park cycle project: I’ve been contacted by a children’s cycle project that meets at Basing Hill Park on Saturdays. Anthony, who runs it, hopes that we can help him run some local rides for parents.

LCC infrastructure training sessions: Penny has attended one of Simon Munk’s infrastructure training sessions at the LCC office and found it most useful. She has circulated useful links to the rest of the campaign group.

Road safety measures around Menorah Primary School: I have submitted a written response to the consultation which includes a 20 mph zone around the school and a new built out crossing. I also spoke at the committee meeting. The revised scheme is going out to further consultation.

Church Lane, East Finchley: The council has new plans for Church Lane. The Campaign Group supports the new speed hump and the new electronic warning sign but we do not want to see the existing sign removed.

Finchley Reform Synagogue climate change group: I have met up with this group and will help draft the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods section of their proposed cycle strategy.

If you want further information on any of the items discussed or to be involved in the campaign group, please contact me.

Charles Harvey – 21 July 2018


020 8455 5174

Barnet Cyclists/Barnet Cycling Campaign is part of London Cycling Campaign


Just hiring the hall for our monthly meetings costs more than the grant we get from “our parent” the London Cycling Campaign, and that is apart from the rides and campaigning we do. So normally we ask you to help by making a contribution in the spring, but this year the new data protection regs got in the way.

Belatedly we would now like to ask you to make your annual contribution to our group funds. If you are a full LCC member then about £4 would help. If you just associate with Barnet Cyclists and come on our rides or to our meetings, then a larger contribution of about £10 would be appreciated.

Ideally we would like you to pay by bank transfer (internet or phone banking) directly into our own account. It is “London Cycling Campaign Barnet Branch” sort code 60 83 01, a/c no. 20225687 and, vitally important, give your name as a reference.

But be assured if you would prefer to donate by cash or cheque we will still grab it. (Cheques to ‘Barnet Cyclists’ or the full a/c name as above)  If posting send to: Treasurer, Barnet Cyclists, 38 Glenwood Rd. NW7 4LJ)

So in anticipation – many thanks for your valued support.

group treasurer – peter R


Stay Wider of the Rider

Close passing is intimidating, dangerous and in the worst cases life threatening for cyclists.

Drop a pin on the Stay Wider of the Rider map to tell us where and when you were close passed while cycling.

stay-widerLCC regularly sends location data to the Metropolitan Police so they can use it to inform their decisions on where to conduct close pass operations.

Let’s get the worst roads indentified in Barnet.

If you wish, you can also sign the petition asking Jesse Norman, the minister responsible for walking and cycling policy, to raise awareness of the issue and educate the public, so that close passing becomes socially unacceptable.

Stay Wider of the Rider website

Sunday 24th June: East Finchley Festival, Cherry Tree Woods, East Finchley

We will have an information stall at this popular local festival – plus Barnet Council is providing a cycle mechanic to do Dr Bike safety checks and carry out minor repairs. So bring your bike along for a check – and tell your friends.  The mechanic will be there between 1-4pm.  Helpers will also be needed to man the stall and talk to visitors about cycling locally and encourge them to join the LCC.

Any questions contact: alison.ewington@ntlworld.com