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September 01, 2021 2 min read

A Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) is designed to discourage the use of cars and get people walking and cycling more in typical 'rat run' or congested areas. But (as we know too well) the concept divides opinion massively, and here at See.Sense we are open to gathering opinions from the community to help improve cycling conditions for all.

Why are LTNs so controversial?

On the one hand, an LTN can improve the quality of life in a local area. Improved air quality, less pollution, quieter streets and a sense of community. While on the other, essential deliveries, public transport and taxis can be disrupted.

So we surveyed 341 people who live in London, Birmingham Manchester and Belfast on the topic from their own perspectives. 

The Results

In our main survey - we found that over 62% of the respondents do not currently live nearby to an LTN, but would like to. It would encourage them and others around them to be more active around town. 

  • I do not live nearby to an LTN, and I would discourage it as it would disrupt car journeys - 10.7%
  • I do not live nearby to an LTN, but I would like to! It would encourage myself and others to be more active around town - 62.4%
  • I live nearby to an LTN and make use of it as a cyclist / pedestrian - 17.9%
  • I live nearby to an LTN, but find it disruptive to get around by car - 9%

One respondent shared: "My daughter lives on one in London & it has dramatically improved the local environment of her street. Children now play safety & cycling is more pleasant & much safer. It is no longer a rat run."

While almost all negative responses (some worded more 'strongly' than others, let's just say) were around the disruption or delay of car journeys, this person noted that living in an LTN hasn't impacted driving when they needed to: "I live near a new LTN and would normally have driven through it. I now occasionally use it to walk/cycle through it - overall, it hasn't impacted on my ability to drive in the surrounding area when needed."

Like a lot of things in life, LTNs can only be as good as they are managed, which was noted by 20% of the people who completed the extra part of the survey. 

Another respondent shared: "While LTNs are a positive move to encourage cycling, more needs to be done to promote active travel and positively discourage car use, to help with both our crises - health and climate."

Would you welcome an LTN in your area?


Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey. You can learn more about our work to improve cycling journeys for everyone here.