Street shift – The future of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods 

We want to learn from the experiences of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and propose new ways of making streets healthier, safer, and greener.  

Local streets are complex places. They need to work as transport corridors, accommodate different people: drivers, walkers, runners, and cyclists, and balance the needs of residents, businesses and people who are just passing through. They should also be green, quiet, safe, and healthy places too where children can play and neighbours can sit, socialise, and exercise.

Over recent years cars, vans and lorries have come to dominate our neighbourhoods, as the capital’s population has grown, vehicles have got bigger and heavier, and satnavs have rerouted traffic from main roads. According to the Department for Transport, Traffic on London’s local roads almost doubled between 2009 and 2019.

In summer 2020, local authorities received funding to introduce Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN’s). These usually include barriers or camera systems that close some residential streets to car through traffic – to promote walking and cycling while people avoided public transport.

Although access restrictions are not new to London’s streets, LTNs have proved highly controversial, and some councils have since removed them in some areas due to local opposition.

Centre for London wants to learn from the rollout of LTNs, and why they’ve been controversial, to help councils develop new ways of reducing car use on local streets while bringing residents along with them.

Our research will seek to answer the following research questions: 

  • What made the rollout of LTNs controversial?
  • What do we know about the public understanding of and attitudes to LTN’s and similar schemes, and what could local authorities have done differently? 
  • What place do LTNs have amongst a broader suite of policies aimed at ensuring London meets its travel, road safety and emissions/pollutions targets? 

Centre for London will review the available evidence on existing schemes and consider best practice, conduct a ‘lessons learned’ roundtable, and undertake research interviews to reflect on the knowledge and experiences of different stakeholders involved in LTNs and similar schemes. We aim to publish a final report in spring 2022.

If you would like to share your research on LTNs with us or evidence from existing schemes please contact Nicolas Bosetti.


This project has been generously supported by

Major Sponsor

This project has been generously supported by

Supporting Sponsors

This project has been generously supported by