What are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods?

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

There has been a lot in the press over recent months regarding LTN. But if you’re not based in London you may not be aware of what a LTN is all about. LTN or rather “Low Traffic Neighbourhoods” are schemes in London that have been launched since just before lockdown but been accelerated since. The aim of LTN is two fold: 1) to improve air quality in residential streets, and 2) to promote more cycling, walking and use of public transport and to move people away from their cars.

The government together with TfL (Transport for London) and local councils have introduced various policies to enable LTN and these have so far received mixed reviews. 

So what is an LTN?

The idea of LTN is to reduce vehicle use in certain neighbourhoods. This is achieved through a combination of physical items such as bollards, speed ramps and planters together with 20 mph speed limits and technology in the form of number plate identification cameras that will alert cars and motorbikes that drivers without residential access are banned from the LTN. The aim being to stop vehicles using cut throughs, short cuts and rat runs on roads that are residential and not designed for the volume of traffic these type of journeys create. This will in return reduce air pollution and make the LTN roads quieter - and safer.

The LTN schemes in London have been rolled out at the same time as the “pop-up” cycle lanes and schemes to widen pavements to increase the space available to pedestrians and to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

low traffic neighbour photograph


As with most types of change the schemes have had mixed reviews. Some locals are complaining that the schemes have been rushed through and without consultation from local residents. Supports however are loving the quieter and cleaners streets.

If you live in London then a LTN is likely to be coming near you soon - if it hasn’t already. 

Do you live in a LTN area? What have your experiences been so far? 

You can read more about LTN here.

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