The Maryland and Odessa Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), are recommended to be made permanent following a successful trial that has seen a significant decrease in traffic volumes, a significant increase in cycling trips, and improvements in air quality.
The scheme has also seen a decrease in speeds on roads and fewer injuries caused by road traffic accidents.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods remove through traffic in residential areas to create safer and more inviting streets for residents to walk and cycle.
Walking and cycling for local trips can achieve significant benefits for the health of individuals and the environment, and are a means to help tackle public health, air quality and road safety issues in Newham.
Councillor James Asser, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Sustainable Transport, said: “We introduced Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) on an experimental basis in 2020. These schemes are designed to stop drivers using our quiet residential areas as ‘rat-runs’ where vehicles cut through our neighbourhoods to avoid main roads, bringing with them pollution, congestion and road safety hazards.
“It is fantastic to see such successful outcomes from these schemes which have such a positive impact for our residents.
“With less traffic, noise and pollution, local streets are safer and more pleasant to use, especially for children to cross the road and walk and cycle to school. These LTNs have reduced the level of harmful emissions from motorised vehicles driving through the area, helped people stay physically active and healthy, and encouraged a shift to more sustainable ways of getting around.”
Following implementation of the two experimental LTNs, the Council consulted extensively with residents, schools, businesses and other stakeholders to gather feedback, adapt the scheme, and consider additional measures to deliver further improvements to the area.
These potential measures could include installing more dropped kerbs for those with limited mobility (e.g. wheelchair users or parents with buggies), and expanding the coverage of the existing 20mph zone to cover the whole LTN scheme area.
Cllr Asser added: “To support the switch to walking and cycling for local journeys, we will further improve the condition of footways and public spaces, continue to offer free cycle training, and deliver new secure cycle parking for residents.”
Newham and Waltham Forest Councils came together to create this cross-boundary low traffic scheme in 2020 – the first cross-borough scheme in London. The Low Traffic Neighbourhood area is formed of two individual schemes – Maryland, which is bounded by Crownfield Road, Leytonstone Road, Forest Lane and Leyton Road, and Odessa, which is bounded by Cann Hall Road, Dames Road, Woodgrange Road, Forest Lane and Leyton Road.
It is acknowledged that while the schemes bring many benefits there are still some challenges related to impacts on boundary roads. Newham is committed to working with residents, businesses and Transport for London to identify further solutions to address these.