Our LTN will prevail

Hokusai: The Great Wave off Kanagawa

Why are we so confident that our Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Upper Norwood will win in the end? It’s simple. The tide of history has changed.

The onslaught of car dominance over people started in the 1950s. In cities, trams and trolleybuses were removed. Buildings were bulldozed to make way for roads. In rural areas the rail network was decimated.

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Submission to Scrutiny & Overview Committee

Dear Committee Members

This email is on behalf of Shape Better Streets, a resident campaign for traffic reduction and active travel in the LTN area you will be discussing next week.  We broadly support Cllr Ali’s decision to reinstate the LTN in modified form.

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Some questions for the Scrutiny Committee

The fate of Auckland Road as a Healthy Street experiment is about to come under scrutiny. It is almost unbelievable that there would be any opposition to a Healthy Street, but sadly these questions need to be answered.

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Auckland Road in Utopia

It looks like Auckland Road will become the backbone of an experimental ANPR controlled Healthy Streets scheme. But instead of a watered-down 2nd generation Low Traffic Neighbourhood, how would we design it if we genuinely wanted to demonstrate what a people friendly neighbourhood could really look like?

Croydon Council has talented highway engineers who must be praying to do more than just put in ANPRs. What would they deliver if they worked in the Netherlands, Denmark, or Germany?

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LTNs and Equalities

Opponents of LTNs, in this area and elsewhere, frequently assert that they have adverse impacts on the groups in our society who are legally protected under equalities legislation.  This blog takes a dispassionate look at the evidence and finds these claims at best unsubstantiated, and in some cases completely unsupported, on the balance of evidence.

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Telraam traffic counters coming to Crystal Palace

Click to enlarge

A local initiative is taking off to inform the debate around traffic management and policy in Crystal Palace. Volunteers are installing a number of stand-alone traffic counters using Raspberry Pi devices running Telraam software. This is an open source traffic-counting system that has been developed by a team in Belgium specifically to promote citizen science-led traffic policy.

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Open letter to Councillor Muhammad Ali

1 February 2021

Dear Muhammad


Residents and supporters of our campaign were dismayed to read your announcement that the current LTN measures will be taken out before the implementation of the planned new experimental layout, and, indeed, before there is any clarity about the timetable on which it will be implemented.  I am sure you realise, but I must put on record, that a return to being a high traffic neighbourhood will have a devastating impact on well-being and quality of life for residents, particularly many with protected characteristics, and reverse the enormous progress which has been made in encouraging active travel. 

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Theory of relativity

For centuries, we were quite happy to think that time was constant until Einstein spoilt everything by advancing his theory that time was relative. But it has taken the advent of our local LTN for oppositionists to posit that a road that takes 5 minutes 10 seconds to cycle is causing 40 minute delays to car journeys.

So we thought we should provide some context. Here you can see how people are adapting to the new safe environment that is Auckland Road (and Lancaster Road):

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Planters into chicanes

Xmas tree on Stambourne Way planter

Whatever might be in store for the LTN, one thing for sure is that the planters will become redundant. Here’s a proposal to make use of them that requires the least effort or transport costs. Some members of our community clearly like their planters, so this proposal offers continuity for them to care for and decorate ‘their’ planters.

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It wasn’t a vote

Some of our local representatives seem to have been caught up in the meme that the opponents of the LTN ‘won the vote’. If they had been paying attention, rather than getting caught up in OOR hysteria, they should have spotted that it was a consultation. So looking beyond the simplicity of the numbers let’s see what this consultation actually revealed.

The most striking feature was that 75% of residents were so unconcerned about the LTN that they did not think it was worth responding.

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Why restrictions need to be kept at the bus gate

Supporters of the LTN broadly support the proposals in the officers’ report to the Traffic Management Advisory Committee, though some would prefer that the LTN was preserved in its current format with planters.

However, almost unanimously, we believe that permitting local residents to drive through the bus gate undermines some of the objectives of the LTN.

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Claims made by the Open Our Roads campaign – Myth & Reality

The Open Our Roads campaign can only support its ludicrous demands to open roads which are, in fact, already open, by resorting to claims for which they can produce no evidence.  Here we take a look at a few of them.

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Letter to TMAC councillors

Traffic Management Advisory Committee 12 January 2021

Dear Committee Members

This email is on behalf of Shape Better Streets, a resident campaign for traffic reduction and active travel in the LTN area you will be discussing next week.  We broadly support the proposals in the officer paper.

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Evaporating traffic

The phenomenon of evaporating traffic is so interesting that we devote a sub-section to it on our Resources page. Opponents of LTNs all over the world like to claim that restricting traffic in one area just displaces it to another. This may well happen over a short period, but quite quickly, enough people change their mode of travel so that overall traffic reduces and in some cases it even happens on the boundary roads.

But now for something completely different.

This post is going to look for a more mysterious form of disappearing traffic, as it has apparently occurred without intervention, nobody has spotted it nor divined where it might have gone.

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Devastating debunking of LTN raison d’être

It is the season to be magnanimous so it is only fitting that we should admit that opponents of the LTN have finally supplied the killer blow to our attempts to demonstrate that traffic patterns over the last 10 years prove the need for the LTN.

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New TfL data shows significant increase in walking and cycling since the pandemic started

Evidence that the Streetspace programme is working is confirmed by today’s release of traffic data by TfL.

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Active Travel Briefing for LB Bromley Council meeting, 7 December 2020

We write on behalf of ‘Bromley Living Streets’ and ‘Bromley Cyclists’, which are respectively local groups of the national walking charity ‘Living Streets’ and the ‘London Cycling Campaign’.

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Active travel in the LTN – July & November 2020

This brings together resident data about active travel at two locations in the LTN:

  • on Sylvan Hill, where there is data for both July and November
  • at the Sylvan Hill/Auckland Road crossroads, where there is data only for November.
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Submission by Bromley Cyclists (London Cycling Campaign)

To: Croydon Council’s Consultation on the Crystal Palace and South Norwood
Low Traffic Neighbourhood Scheme

When we learned of the furore over this scheme on the Croydon/Bromley border, we sought to get to the bottom of it.  We talked to a range of players, opened a social media channel for discussion, studied the situation on the ground, and explored cycling links northward through Crystal Palace Park and southwards to Croydon. 

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LTN causes traffic chaos

It’s become quite fashionable to post images of congestion caused, not by too many cars, but by the LTN. This page will present date/time stamped photos of local streets at times when one might expect greatest congestion to occur: commuting, school runs, Saturday shopping. Now this isn’t to say that there is no congestion, just that it is nowhere near as bad as some suggest, AND hasn’t there always been jams around the triangle?

First of all, we must confess that it is not all good news. This next photo shows how the LTN has caused eeeeeeeeeeeenormous tail backs all the way to Cape Town:

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