Part of Lambeth's response to the current pandemic is the creation of a low traffic neighbourhood in Streatham Hill. This is a project that the council had been considering before the pandemic as part of our Transport Strategy, and we ran a consultation on the project early in 2020. However, in response to the massive reduction in public transport capacity caused by coronavirus restrictions, we had to introduce this temporary scheme as quickly as possible.
Put simply, vehicles can drive to the closure points shown on the map and images below, from one direction or the other, but you cannot drive through. This means that every single property can be accessed by motor vehicle but the streets are no longer suitable as a traffic cut through.
The low traffic neighbourhood will now be delivered in two stages:
- Immediately creating a low traffic neighbourhood with a temporary scheme (complete)
- Developing a permanent scheme, which will be informed by engaging with the community and learning lessons from the temporary scheme
You can read about the detail of the temporary scheme here.
Why create a low traffic neighbourhood now?
The pandemic has meant that we need to quickly deliver low traffic neighbourhoods. With public transport capacity greatly reduced and while the need to socially distance remains in place, we want to enable people to make short trips to school, shops and work by cycle and on foot. Low traffic neighbourhoods do this. Some streets within the Streatham Hill neighbourhood carry over 6,000 vehicles a day, with most motorists just travelling through, using roads which were never designed to cope with such high volumes of car traffic.
What are the next steps for developing a permanent scheme?
In normal circumstances, we would not have implemented a traffic scheme like this without engaging with the local community first. But these are extraordinary times and we have chosen to act quickly to implement a temporary scheme that is effective at stopping through traffic. We will allow the temporary scheme to operate for a period of months to assess how it is functioning. We will provide updates here and on the dedicated online engagement site, Commonplace.
The permanent scheme will aim to:
- Reduce traffic volumes across the neighbourhood to deliver improved air quality, improved safety and create street spaces where people can socialise and play
- Preserve motor vehicle access so residents and local business can use cars and vans when they need to
- Enable people to travel safely through the area on foot or by bike
How can I get involved?
You can tell us how the temporary scheme is working via Commonplace. If you sign up on the Commonplace news page we will send you project updates and notify you when public engagement on the permanent scheme begins.
This project is part of our emergency transport response to coronavirus. Find info about the other projects in the programme, including other low traffic neighbourhoods, on Commonplace.