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The revised Lewisham and Lee Green Low Traffic Neighbourhood recommended to be retained, alongside a package of environmental measures and ongoing monitoring

Evidence shows the revised LTN is meeting its aims of reducing traffic, improving air quality and encouraging walking and cycling.

The revised Lewisham and Lee Green Low Traffic Neighbourhood is recommended to be retained - alongside a package of environmental measures including new trees, more school streets, electric car charging points, improved crossings, bike parking and ongoing traffic and air quality monitoring in and around the area – as evidence shows it is meeting its aim of reducing traffic, improving air quality and encouraging more walking and cycling.

The recommendation will be considered by Mayor and Cabinet on 12 January, following an extensive review that considered data including air quality monitoring, traffic counts, speed monitoring and consultation feedback, to understand how the LTN has performed against the Council’s policies and priorities, as well as those set out across London and nationally.

The original LTN was introduced in July 2020 but was significantly revised following feedback from residents in November 2020.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “The world is facing a climate emergency and we urgently need to do more to improve air quality in London. By retaining the LTN and doing more to encourage residents to walk and cycle more where possible, Lewisham is taking an important step and contributing to London’s improving air quality and reducing unnecessary car journeys.

“Across the country, LTNs have divided opinion; in Lewisham, we can see that drivers are more likely to feel negatively about the LTN, while non-drivers – and half of households in Lewisham do not have access to a car - have been more positive.

“With such a split in opinion – and I’ve got friends on both sides of the argument – it is important that we go back to the evidence, the data we have available and our priorities about tackling the climate emergency, when making a decision about the future of the LTN.

“I understand some people will be disappointed by the recommendation; some people feel strongly that the LTN has gone too far, others not far enough. The data we’re seeing suggests that continuing with the LTN, alongside ongoing monitoring, is likely to support more positive changes and support our efforts to tackle climate change.”

Cllr Patrick Codd, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said:
“We believe the LTN is meeting its aims and is part of a bigger picture of change across London, which is aiming to improve air quality for future generations across our capital.

“More than 20% of people who responded to the consultation told us they have walked and cycled more since the revised LTN was introduced; it’s reduced the number of cars using the area as a short-cut and reduced the speed they travel at.

“We will continue to monitor traffic and air quality levels in and around the LTN and will use the lessons learned to improve how we engage residents in the future. However, it’s important that we use this moment to reaffirm our commitment to becoming a greener borough. Back in 2019 we declared a climate emergency, and committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. To achieve that, we have to make behaviour changes.

“The recent COP-26 reinforced just how serious and urgent the climate crisis is. This is about taking collective responsibility; we all need to change how we live our lives if we are to make a difference. Road traffic is the single largest contributor to nitrogen dioxide emissions in the UK – put simply, we have to make fewer car journeys. Department for Transport figures show that between 2009-2019, traffic in Lewisham increased by almost 25%. By reducing unnecessary journeys, we can prioritise our roads for those who need to use them while also reducing pollution and helping ourselves live healthier lives.”

The aims of the LTN

The aims of the LTN were to encourage people to walk and cycle more; improve air quality; improve road safety, reduce traffic and protect public health during the pandemic.

Monitoring, evaluation and consultation has found:

Encourage people to walk and cycle more ✔  21% (1,483) of consultation respondents agreed that the revised LTN had encouraged them to walk or cycle more

14% (751) of car drivers said the LTN had encouraged them to walk or cycle more
Improve road safety ✔  Average vehicles speeds have reduced by 2mph between March 2019 and February 2021 on roads both inside and outside the LTN

Average vehicle speeds have reduced by 1.2mph between June 2020 and February 2021 on roads both inside and outside the LTN
Improve air quality  ✔ The LTN is aimed at encouraging long term behaviour change and we did not anticipate a significant, immediate change in air quality.

Monitoring found that the overall mean NO2 concentration for the LTN monitoring network was 29.0 ug/m3 for the original scheme and 31.4 ug/m3 for the revised scheme.

The legal limit is 40 ug/m3

This data has been independently verified.

Overall, air quality is improving in our borough, with no single site in 2020 breaching World Health Organization or UK legal limits for nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Find out more about air quality monitoring across the borough on our website 
Reduce traffic levels  ✔ Traffic levels reduced by 69% between March 2019 and February 2021

Traffic levels reduced by 20% between June 2020 and February 2021

39% of consultation respondents agreed that there was less traffic within the revised LTN
Protect public health  ✔  21% (1,483) of respondents agreed that the revised LTN had encouraged them to walk or cycle more.

14% (751) of car drivers said the LTN had encouraged them to walk or cycle more.


The decision

The review indicates that the existing, revised Lewisham and Lee Green Low Traffic Neighbourhood is meeting its aims, is in line with the Council’s corporate objectives and policies, wider London policies, and has positively influenced behaviour.

A package of green measures is also recommended, including new trees, more school streets, electric car charging points and bike parking, following feedback from residents via the consultation. This will be for the wider consultation area and not just within the LTN. School streets will also be installed subject to discussions with primary schools in the area. Ongoing traffic and air quality monitoring will allow the Council to take appropriate action if necessary.

Cllr Codd said: “Back in November 2020, we listened to residents’ concerns and it’s clear that the changes we introduced made a significant difference and addressed most of those concerns.

“Schemes elsewhere have demonstrated that if walking and cycling is safer and more convenient for shorter trips, fewer people will use their cars unnecessarily. They may also decide not to make certain trips, travel at quieter times or use public transport. To support this, we will be adding a series of environmental measures that residents have told us they want to see, including extra bike parking, more school streets, electric car charging, more trees and improved pedestrian crossings across a wide area and not just within the LTN.

“We will also continue to monitor traffic levels in and around the LTN, to ensure we can act on any future concerns. These measures aren’t intended to work in isolation. Going forward, we will work with residents to implement other schemes and incentives across the borough to promote healthier and more sustainable ways of travelling in and around our borough.”

If approved, all remaining physical road closures will be changed to camera enforced restrictions - with clear signs - to further improve access for the emergency services and reduce vandalism and operational costs.

Find out more about the recommendations, the LTN and other environmental measures on our website.

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