Waltham Forest and Newham councils create new Lower Traffic Neighbourhood to make streets safer for residents

Liveable Neighbourhood Scheme to create people-friendly streets through traffic calming measures

In 2018 and 2019 Waltham Forest and Newham councils applied for funding from Transport for London’s Liveable Neighbourhoods programme to create a shared Lower Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN). However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic Transport for London (TfL) suspended the Liveable Neighbourhoods programme, redirecting funding towards emergency interventions to support social distancing.

Even though the Liveable Neighbourhood programme is currently suspended, Waltham Forest and Newham have worked together to allocate funding towards their LTN, committing to deliver better streets to residents. With many residents from both boroughs not owning a motorised vehicle and the current limited capacity on public transport, both councils continue to prioritise sustainable travel and making sure local streets are able to support this.  

Experimental modal filters will be installed from mid-August and will be in place for 6 to 18 months. During this time, we will be gathering local feedback, consulting key stakeholders, and collecting traffic data to help determine whether the scheme will be made permanent in the future.

The installations will include:

  • five modal filters within Newham, bounded by Crownfield Road, Leytonstone Road, Forest Lane and Leyton Road
  • 12 modal filters, seven in Newham and five in Waltham Forest, bounced by Cann Hall Road, Dames Road, Woodgrange Road, Forest Lane and Leyton Road

The majority of these filters will be large planters to restrict access for motorised vehicles whilst still allowing pedestrians and cyclists through. Where emergency service access is required, modal filters will be enforced via CCTV and there will not be a physical barrier in place. Modal filters bring many benefits to areas and residents such as a reduction in air pollution and a better quality of life. In 2014, modal filters were introduced in the Walthamstow Village area and after two years a review showed that more residents were walking and cycling, with traffic counts showing a 44 per cent decrease in vehicles travelling through the area.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader for Waltham Forest Council, said: “We’re pleased to be able to start works across Waltham Forest and Newham, creating the first cross-borough Lower Traffic Neighbourhood in London. We’re making sure we provide residents with safer streets to live and travel on. Collaborating with Newham Council allows us to benefit both borough’s residents, many who live, work and travel between the two areas. These traffic calming measures make streets more pleasant to use, due to there being less traffic, noise and pollution. This work will also reduce the level of harmful emissions from motorised vehicles driving through the area, helping our residents to stay physically active and healthy, and encourage a shift to more sustainable modes of transport, which we’re passionate about here in Waltham Forest.”

Cllr James Asser, Cabinet Member for Environment at Newham Council, said: “I am delighted we have been able to work with our neighbours and colleagues in Waltham Forest to get this scheme off the ground, especially in the light of the difficulties and complications created by the suspension of TfL funding and the COVID-19 crisis.

“As a council Newham is committed to improving the quality of life for our residents, by creating more pleasant environments in the streets where they live, but critically we do not want to simply push the problems across our borders into neighbouring boroughs. This scheme recognises that traffic rarely recognises such borders, and this co-operative approach will ensure the benefits are felt for both sets of residents.”

Due to the urgent requirement to implement this scheme, construction works will start in mid-August 2020, and each area is scheduled to be completed within a two-week period. During this time, our construction teams will aim to minimise disruption and will be adhering to guidelines around COVID-19 safe working standards. The view of the local people is still vital to the success of the scheme and by feeding back, residents can help us to develop the scheme as it progresses.

To feedback on the scheme, head over to our Commonplace website.

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