Part of Lambeth's response to the current pandemic is the creation of a low traffic neighbourhood in Tulse Hill. 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.
In normal circumstances, we would have engaged with the community before introducing a change like this, 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. We will be working continuously with the community to make sure that it is successfully reducing traffic through the area.
The low traffic neighbourhood will now be delivered in two stages:
- Immediately creating a low traffic neighbourhood with a temporary scheme (complete)
- Developing proposals for 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?
Before coronavirus, 64% of people in Lambeth mainly travelled using public transport. That is no longer possible due to massively reduced capacity on London's public transport network. As lockdown restrictions continue to be relaxed demand to travel is increasing. If car journeys increase only slightly then our roads could grind to a halt. We need to keep roads and public transport free for truly essential journeys. To support the economy and keep people safe whilst travelling we need to enable large numbers of trips to be made on foot or by bike. The Tulse Hill low traffic neighbourhood is an essential way of enabling safe travel through this time.
Within the neighbourhood access to a car or van is low with just 39.2% of households having a car or van, this is within the bottom 20% in London. The majority of people (64%) use public transport to access work with 18% of people using modes like walking, cycling and others. Despite this, the area is in the top 20% of London for traffic levels and pollution.
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 information about the other projects in the programme, including other low traffic neighbourhoods, on Commonplace.