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  • Who lives in or near an LTN?
  • spooky_b329
    Full Member

    LTNs have been in the news a lot recently but I’ve just read an article that says the government has removed support for LTNs through the Active Travel funding.

    Obviously a minority of drivers are able to generate a lot of noise and fuss when their freedom behind the wheel is threatened, giving the impression that the general public oppose them.

    Interested to hear from those of you that live in or near LTNs, and also what your car dependent neighbours think of them.

    I’d like to see them implemented in a town near me. The coastal road is always congested during rush hour, despite the road having an extremely good bus route (with bus lanes) between the two major towns/cities to the East and West and connections to three mainline railway stations, and predominantly a traffic free and fairly level cycling route that takes about 35 minutes to the city centre. However there is one short section of this road that gets gridlocked due to a combination of a box junction and the fact you can bypass it through residential streets (which is also a National Cycle Network route) and rejoin the queue from about eight side streets, so one car along the main road basically has to give way to eight cars rejoining. It can take about 15 minutes to travel 100 metres! I wish they would compartmentalise the residential streets so drivers remain on the coast road where we (as a driver) belong!

    nickc
    Full Member

    I live in Chorlton, south Manchester, there are a number of LTN near me. I’m pretty certain that for folks who live on the roads that they barricade, life has improved. For the folks who live on roads that have become rat-runs subsequently, not so much. The LTN for the road I live was proposed to be installed a couple of years ago and AFAIK was well supported locally, for reasons I can’t find out, it hasn’t happened (yet) Meanwhile Manchester is busy installing bike lanes all around me, which is fine, the plans are going ahead…but where’s my LTN?

    Petty local politics always gets in the way somehow.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Yes, technically. Although it’s an older one as the road was cut through for a DC bypass. Residents are vociferously opposed to any suggestion that the end of the road should be connected to the main road even though it means they have to drive up into the village and then back out to the main road. Obviously this being the UK no one in their right mind actually rides a bike.

    There has also been some ‘hard’ traffic management done in a few of the villages. The school road has been turned into an LTN, and to prevent the parralel-ish road becoming a rat run the opposite main road linking to the next village has about 10 give way chicanes to slow traffic down enough that most people now take the slightly longer bypass around the village entirely.

    There’s a proposal to do similar on other roads, although there isn’t the same full LTN + bypass option. Still get’s uproar on the local facebook groups despite the fact locals parking on that road turn it into the same thing anyway.

    For the folks who live on roads that have become rat-runs subsequently, not so much.

    Got a link to that proof? The few articles I’ve seen on it conclude that either the difference is a reduction in traffic on nearby roads as well, assumed because people don’t drive upto an LTN then make several right angle turns to navigate around it, their satnav makes much bigger changes, keeps them on arterial routes etc. Or the conclusion was inconclusive as any LTN’s created in the recent past are outweighed by the effects of COVID changing peoples transport choices both for better and worse. Fewer journeys overall, more individual car use, more cycling, less public transport.

    franksinatra
    Full Member

    LTN make Fair Fuel Uk / Howard Cos, Daily Mail and GBN consumers furious. They must therefore be a very good thing.

    spooky_b329
    Full Member

    I would guess that overall traffic would reduce slightly, but there may be specific streets that become busier (which could probably be designed out if residents are happy to lose their ‘locals’ shortcut out to their preferred route.)

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    I live in or near an LTN that is regularly featured in the Daily Mail (in a bad way). Notes:

    1) between COVID, post-COVID work patterns, and just every other factor, it is surprisingly difficult to get data on traffic on surrounding streets. That’s especially true if the scheme was introduced as a COVID emergency response.

    2) people are terrible at anecdotal data. Plenty of opponents were claiming traffic jams were due to the LTN, but at least sometimes the LTN was not in operation or there had always been jams.

    3) people love to be barrack room traffic engineers, advancing all sorts of wacky theories for and against “because it stands to reason”. One guy was trying to invent a 6x7m box which would simultaneously be an HGV turning circle and a cycle lane. He’d done the measurements and everything…

    4) local yokels wanted exemptions for taxis, buses, blue badge holders, old people, local residents, visitors and deliveries to local residents…basically everyone. Non-blue badge holders were most vociferous about the scheme “discriminating” against disabled people – but they did not want to assist disabled people by driving their own cars less or getting out of the way of public transport. A local provate school didn’t wamt an LTN because it would havr interfered with staff parking their cars at school dropoff time. No-one wanted parking permits (even free) and everyone was appalled by how lazy the council was being because they couldn’t just “get the data from thr DVLA”.

    5) old people were the most outraged. “Are you telling me I can’t drive my car 300 yards down the road to buy a newspaper at 9am, just like I have for the last 30 years?”. Yes – yes, I am.

    6) local councillors and council staff were subjected to very personal abuse and allegations. Oddball motorists’ rights groups and anonymous “local” pressure groups appeared. The last local elections were painted as a referendum on LTNs – and the incumbents were re-elected with an increased majority.

    7) practically no-one knows what road signs mean, and are then shocked to bd fined when they disobey them…including me on one occasion tbf

    There is a small number of opponents that still maintain it is literally the worst thing since Pol Pot. There is potentially a group of people on adjacent roads that had increased traffic. Everyone else seems to be getting on with it.

    mrchrispy
    Full Member

    I live in one (very very close to you @nickc) and its bloody brilliant.

    Our streets used to be a rat run to avoid a particular junction, our road didnt suffer that badly until they did a half arsed LTN, they blocked the main rat run but that just pushed EVERYONE down our street. it was terrible. Now it a full LTN and its great, we have kids playing on the street now.

    There were a couple of people in our street group that were vocally against it (no prizes for guessing which pigeonhole they fall into), usual arguments of what if I need an ambulance and it cant get here because it stuck in traffic!!! ffs.

    It adds an extra couple of minuted to my life if I happen to want to drive the way thats now blocked, a price everyone seems happy with now the streets are much much quieter ALL the time.

    franksinatra
    Full Member

    local councillors and council staff were subjected to very personal abuse and allegations. Oddball motorists’ rights groups and anonymous “local” pressure groups appeared. The last local elections were painted as a referendum on LTNs – and the incumbents were re-elected with an increased majority.

    The introduced a 20mph limit where I live, it was initially a trial. The engineer overseeing the project received death threats at work. As a result all consultation moved to hard copy responses only so they could be more easily and safely filtered to protect staff wellbeing.

    fossy
    Full Member

    None where I live at all. Wouldn’t mind some. That said there is next to bugger all decent cycle infrastructure. South East Manchester.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    @politecameraaction – that sounds suspiciously like the LTNs “imposed” by the draconian socialist cabal of councillors and militant cycling lobby groups near where my Mum lives… 😉

    I love them, in fact they’re an essential part of traffic management going forward but oh my god the poor put-upon hard working motorists who can no longer drive little Tabitha 400m to the school gates in the SUV don’t half let everyone know about how unfair life now is for them.

    sl2000
    Full Member

    None near me in Brighton. Labour councillors and my otherwise-great labour MP waged an anti-active-travel infrastructure campaign. I’m very jealous of the places with councillors brave and principled enough to push these changes through.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Got a link to that proof?

    ‘Tis nought but the flimsiest of anecdote. Entirely based on the noise of the backfiring exhaust that woke me up last night

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    LTNs are a bit if a tricky one – we were meant to be having one in Rochdale but the filters were set on fire the day they went in… It’s currently meant to be going back in on a scaled back basis a week on Monday.

    As above it’s hard to get definitive evidence but there is at least some traffic evaporation once they’ve bedded in (this is the converse of induced demand) even on boundary roads, and by allowing boundary road traffic to flow better (less cars turning in and out of side roads) there should be an improvement in air quality due to less accelerating/braking. Contrary to some of the ranting on SoMe LTNs do not block vehicular access, only through traffic.

    In general about 2/3 of people are in favour of active travel measures, in survey after survey. However they’re often drowned out by a very vocal minority who I strongly suspect don’t actually live in the proposed LTN.

    The long and the short of it is that we need to do stuff to encourage people to walk/ride short distances, for public health/cost of living reasons as much as anything else. It often feels that the right to drive wherever people want has trumped the rights of people to have safe streets and clean air, and the rights of children, those who want to walk or cycle, and the 1:4 UK households who don’t have access to a car.

    verses
    Full Member

    The temporary Covid one near me has been very recently upgraded to permanent.

    I miss being able to dodge the traffic-lights by nipping through it (as I live in the next street I never considered myself a rat-runner, but I’m prob kidding myself), but I used to see knobbers hurtling down it as I walked to work each morning and it’s now a much nicer place to be without them.
    It annoyed me that they weren’t content with avoiding the queue at the lights, but felt the need to speed down a narrow residential street too. If they’d been more considerate I don’t think I’d have had a problem with them.

    Although it mostly seems well designed, I’ve stuck a pic below showing the weird layout at the end of it. It’s essentially a T-junction, but for some reason they’ve split it into 3 lanes…

    Cycle lane with 3 junctions

    Clover
    Full Member

    The weird thing is that, in apparent contradiction to the stands to reason brigade, the vote share for pro-LTN councillors has gone up.

    I find the whole shouty minority thing very confusing. I think that they can only hear themselves shout and hence are really surprised that there are lots of less loud people that think (and vote) differently.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    @Clover I think the truth of it is that the people making the most noise often don’t actually live in a proposed LTN, and it’s simply not the wedge issue the antis think it is.

    Progressive parties can be really disappointing on active travel, presumably because they want to be seen to be representing Hardworking Everyday Motorists(tm). I did feel marginally sorry for CFoC when they asked for examples of where Tory councils had done well with AT and got crickets, though.

    hatter
    Full Member

    As a recently elected Councillor with a city ward and a seat on the committee that debates such things I will be monitoring this thread with interest.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    that sounds suspiciously like the LTNs “imposed” by the draconian socialist cabal of councillors and militant cycling lobby groups near where my Mum lives… 😉

    It’s hard to tell, as the same pattern seems to be playing out all over the place!

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    ‘Tis nought but the flimsiest of anecdote. Entirely based on the noise of the backfiring exhaust that woke me up last night

    That’s the best kind of anecdotal evidence though.

    My OH keeps complaining that her memory is getting worse. It’s not, she’s just forgotten how bad it used to be.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Tis nought but the flimsiest of anecdote

    Standard anti-LTN playbook.

    Demand data. More data, from here and there and this time and that time.

    Whenever actual data is presented, rubbish it as being unreliable, biased, flawed, not from the right time or place…

    And then present your own, entirely anecdotal, “evidence” that things have never been so bad, traffic has never been this heavy and it’s all the fault of the LTN.

    nickc
    Full Member

    I’m not anti LTN.

    I was expecting an LTN to be installed in my road, and I’d like it to be sooner rather than later. There’s some pretty disruptive roadworks near me (cycle infrastructure being built) that means idiots are using my road to avoid them. I’d very much like that to stop.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    As with active travel threads in the past, I’d strongly encourage anyone with an interest in this stuff to get involved, even if that’s limited to emailing councillors, or joining the mailing list for your local active travel campaign group.

    milko9000
    Full Member

    In the Ealing area, which seemed to attract a lot of the media attention about these. I think most of them have gone now, but one or two still remain. I miss ’em and wanted some more (well, my street anyway) but that doesn’t seem likely now. The local tradesmen I spoke to at the time disliked them, as did some local parents who complained their drive to Waitrose now took 15-20 minutes instead of 5. Grrr! (yes I did try gently suggesting that other ways to get your shopping are possible)

    molgrips
    Full Member

    its great, we have kids playing on the street now.

    But.. isn’t that what old people complain doesn’t happen any more?

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    LTN = Low traffic neighbourhood.

    Just for the benefit of anyone else that didn’t know what the everyone was talking about.

    jkomo
    Full Member

    My old workplace was in East Oxford and surrounded by them. I used to ride the 20 miles (on and off) to work and the benefit to those within them was massive. Being Oxford, there was always a hardcore of bikers taking kids to school in those big cargo/ kids transporter things. East oxford has a mix of rich and poor and regular types and what the LTN did was allow normal people on normal bikes take their kids on regular kids bikes to school. It was definitely a leveller and a joy to see. For those in the rat runs it looked like a huge bonus. I also have two mates on the main roads where all the cars are funnelled and for them it’s a disaster, utter gridlock outside the house during commuting hours. If there’s a crash or problem on those roads it’s obviously even worse.
    Eventually I can see it working if it’s affordable to have cameras on the blocked off areas to allow residents easier movement but still blocking rat run car commuting.
    Oxford is rubbish for cycling infrastructure and has the problems associated with an ancient city, narrow main roads and lots of waterways kettling drivers over bridges everywhere.
    I miss my rides to work however as I’d nailed the route using roads, canal and river paths.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    have cameras on the blocked off areas to allow residents easier movement but still blocking rat run car commuting.

    The point of LTNs is not to stop other people driving through the neighbourhood and make it easier for me as a local to drive. There is no way out of congestion, pollution and climate change that doesn’t involve everyone driving less, one way or another.

    rsl1
    Free Member

    I live inside one that is in trial stage. We’ve recently been sent traffic data; 2600 fewer cars in 12 hours at a key junction, 140 more pedestrians and 100 more cyclists.

    It’s been transformational for us. Gone from being a race track with most cars being not far off from getting air over the speed bumps, to a sleepy village feel, overnight. It’s pushed me from maybe 50% food shops being by bike to nearly 100% as the filter is between me and the supermarket. It seems to have forced way more school kids to walk to school for the same reason.

    For a long time it was a culture war issue on the local Facebook page, to the point that other local areas were taking the piss out of it. But that seems to have translated to votes in contrast to what others above have said – labour have successfully painted it as a green party policy despite (I believe) having more councillors on the committee managing it, and I think this had a strong factor in the last 2 locals switching from green to labour councillors, despite there being other very strong reasons to not put our trust in labour here right now.

    nickc
    Full Member

    I was expecting an LTN to be installed in my road

    My councillor tells me it’s not happening

    edit : removed boring email response

    I can tell him already that the road works to construct the cycle lanes are already pushing traffic along my street there’s never been a more pressing need to stop that and keep traffic on the main road.

    prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    It’d be good to see more LTNs.

    Pleasing that many east<->west roads in south manchester are now designated 20mph zones. If only there were some effective measures like harsh Bournemouth-style humps to enforce these limits.

    there is next to bugger all decent cycle infrastructure. South East Manchester.


    @fossy
    but there’s the fantastic length of cycle lane on the north side of the Parrs Wood/Wilmslow road junction! Sarcasm there, it is the most useless and confusing waste of paint I’ve seen in many MCC cycle path fails.
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/SbwG8knpgZynMKGt6?g_st=ic

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    For a long time it was a culture war issue on the local Facebook pag

    IMVHO local politicians and groups get ovwrly fixated with Facebook and local forums, but practically no-one in reality is reading and paying attention to the local Big Hitters. There was a period where running a campaign or group was synonymous with running the Facebook page, but those days are thankfully over

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