What is a Low Traffic Neighbourhood?
A Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) aims to improve street environments and local neighbourhoods for walking and cycling, and to create more opportunities for people to meet on the street. An LTN introduces access restrictions, known as ‘modal filters’, to prevent motor vehicles from using local streets as a cut through to avoid main roads. Often, vehicles will use local streets to shorten their journey times, but at the same time increasing local traffic, road danger and pollution levels, and therefore making it harder for residents to consider more sustainable modes of transport such as walking or cycling for local journeys.
What is a 'modal filter'?
‘Modal filters’ are either physical barriers on the road, such as planters or bollards, or can be signposted and monitored with enforcement cameras. Modal filters created with physical barriers will restrict access for motorised vehicles but will still allow enough space for pedestrians and cyclists to travel through them.
Some larger modal filters may take the form of a pocket park dependant on the space available in the area. Surrounding area layout and conditions would be taken into account so assess the feasibility and appropriateness of a pocket park in any area.
What is a pocket park?
Pocket parks are considered to be small areas of inviting public green space where people can relax, exercise, socialise and play. They must be openly accessible for the communities they will serve, and ideally offer open access for anyone wishing to use them.
The definition of a Pocket Park is: “a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares (although many are around 0.02 hectares, the size of a tennis court) which may already be under grass but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict”.
They can be both natural and more formal in character (and perhaps ideally a blend of both) on the basis that they either will provide a green open space that also offers habitat opportunities and opportunities for people to connect with nature.
Will I be able to access the road I live on by car?
Local residents, businesses, visitors, emergency services and other service providers such as waste collection, utilities and deliveries will still have vehicular access to every address within an LTN scheme, although they may need to take a slightly different route than before. We have consulted emergency services to ensure that the scheme meets their requirements.
What about the impact on the wider area from displaced traffic?
Restrictions will initially be put in place using an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) which allows us to trial things in a 'live' situation, and then make changes to the order if required. The impact on the surrounding area will be monitored and if there is an adverse effect on the wider area due to this scheme the ETO can be adjusted.
What is an Experimental Traffic Order?
An Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) is like a permanent traffic regulation order in that it is a legal document which imposes traffic and parking restrictions such as road closures, controlled parking and other parking regulations indicated by double or single yellow line etc. The ETO can also be used to change the way existing restrictions function. An ETO is made under Sections 9 and 10 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. ETOs can only stay in force for a maximum of 18 months while the effects are monitored and assessed. Changes can be made during the first six months of the experimental period to any of the restrictions (except charges) if necessary, before the council decides whether or not to make the scheme permanent.