Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, a genuinely cross party project – initiated by Conservative national government and implemented by a Labour local authority – are once again shown to be hugely successful, and clearly achieving their objectives.
Here’s a quick summary of the newly released monitoring data.
Motor traffic has reduced
The top level figure is a 16% drop in traffic across all roads. That’s 24,000 fewer vehicles polluting our air.
Breaking this down, there has been a massive drop on traffic on the roads where modal filters have been installed (81% on Calton Avenue; 68% on Court Lane, 88% on Melbourne Grove).
Also, very significantly, there have been reductions in traffic on main roads: down 22% on Lordship Lane, down 14% on Croxted Road, and down 16% on Half Moon Lane. So don’t listen to the scare-mongers, as with many other schemes across London, LTNs lead to a reduction of traffic on main roads too.
One road did see some growth, East Dulwich Grove South recorded 14,922 vehicles in April 2021 – an increase of 14% from September 2019. This is why we are calling for a joined up cycle network including cycle tracks on main roads like East Dulwich Grove. Not only is it important for safety, but it would also reduce traffic levels: A TFL analysis suggests 68% of car trips could be cycled. So while not everyone may be able to cycle, more than 14% of people currently driving could cycle, and thereby bring traffic back down to below 2019 levels.
Staggering cycling growth
As predicted, the story for cycling has also been incredible: a 74% increase across the area. A whopping 103% around Dulwich Village, 29% in East Dulwich and 19% on Champion Hill.
More to do to achieve cycling potential
While we should celebrate the success of the schemes, the data also shows another story: that cycling levels across the area are still far too low.
Lordship Lane for example, with a densely populated residential area and key shopping destination is recorded as having only 325 people cycling, or less than 30 bikes per hour at peak times; similarly Turney Road, which has been identified as a strategic cycling route, only recorded 618 people cycling a day. Half Moon Lane, another natural high priority cycling route only had 611 people cycling (as of Sep 2019). East Dulwich Grove has even fewer, only 458 people cycling recorded on the Eastern Count, with only 369 by Townley Road.
The potential to increase cycling in the area is phenomenal. The recent schemes have shown that if cycling interventions get built, people will use them.
Southwark needs to build on the momentum, and introduce additional measures: more 24/7 modal filters, coupled with cycle tracks on main roads.
Read Southwark Cyclists proposed response here.
Respond to the consultation here! The deadline has been extended until Sunday 18, July.