LTNs create safe public realm for all the community; they encourage walking, cycling, wheeling, and the use of public transport. This leads to cleaner air, less CO2 and healthier people. See the rest of this website, especially the FAQs, for more about all the benefits of LTNs.
Given all the wonderful benefits that an LTN brings, it is amazing how simply this is achieved. In short, LTNs have two prime functions:
- To keep all through traffic out of the LTN.
- To discourage short car journeys by those living in, or near, the LTN.
Once implemented, the Council monitors the success of each LTN in terms of: motor vehicle and cycle counts, pollution levels, rates of crime and anti-social behaviour, and attendance times for the emergency services.
This monitoring is necessary but does not help one assess competing designs while still on the drawing board. Here are the design criteria that seem important to us, some absolute and others on a sliding scale:
- Cut throughs are completely removed.
- Pedestrians and those cycling and using mobility scooters, etc. have safe access to the shortest possible routes.
- Every address can be reached by car.
- Disabled drivers are not disadvantaged.
- The emergency services (who are statutory consultees) are satisfied with their access.
- Minimise impact on buses, one hopes to zero, and maybe even improve access.
- Maximise fairness between resident drivers (in terms of the distance to reach their homes from all directions).
- Minimise the implementation cost by, e.g. minimising the number of filters.
- Maximise the potential for the creation of new community and green spaces.
Those are the objectives that each LTN design is aiming for, but how to design one?
Many LTNs have already been designed and this experience has informed general guidelines for good LTN design.