Will an LTN increase emergency response times to my house?

With Headington home to several major hospitals and an ambulance station, many people legitimately ask if LTNs will cause delays in response times for the emergency services.

Reassuringly, the experiences from areas where such schemes have been implemented shows this hasn’t turned out to be the case [1]. Due to lower overall volumes of traffic on the roads, journey times actually improve, even if the most direct route is no longer possible (find out why).

In this public event recorded by Oxfordshire Liveable Streets, we hear about the experiences of a resident of Waltham Forest, where LTNs were implemented in 2015 [emergency services are discussed from 23:30]:

powered by Crowdcast
Find out more...

Regarding emergency response times, the Borough Commander in Waltham Forest states:

‘It is my view that this data does not show an increase in response times and therefore that the road closures in Waltham Forest have not had a significant impact on our services.’ [29] This is supported by a FOI request made to the London Fire Brigade about Waltham Forest, which shows a reduction in the average response times of fire appliances.

The Waltham Forest scheme bid was supported by Barts Health NHS Trust [30] and further information on the effect on emergency response times in Waltham Forest can be found here.

It’s also important to note that the emergency services:

  • are statutory consultees, which means that the Council would not and could not proceed with any traffic filtering measures without fully consulting them
  • are able to access the many existing cul-de-sacs and access-only areas on our road network without any problems
  • are fully geared up to cope with road closures due to road works etc. and do this every day and that
  • ambulance services are largely itinerant nowadays, meaning that once they’re called out from their base they stay out (also referenced here)

Finally, in the context of safety and emergency services, let’s not forget that less traffic means less road traffic accidents – crashmap.co.uk shows high numbers of accidents around our main shopping area on London Road, in particular, as well as clusters of accidents where side roads meet distributor roads.