Who benefits from LTNs?

It’s roads with 30 mph limits – not motorways or 60 mph roads – that have been found to be most dangerous in the past.

As thisismoney.co.uk reported recently, Department for Transport data shows that 60% of all accidents and 34% of all traffic fatalities in 2018 occurred in 30 mph zones [68].

Increased speeding and distracted driving have become a particular concern recently. Again, roads with 30 mph limits appear to be the most affected, with 23% of the 2,020 people questioned in a recent survey by the RAC [69] saying they had seen motorists breaking 30 mph limits during the lockdown.

The RAC survey also found that: ‘Just under one in 10 (8%) people claimed they have seen more drivers using handheld mobile phones at the wheel than they would in normal, non-lockdown conditions.’

The very reason for using streets as cut-throughs is to save time, so it’s no surprise that through-traffic often goes hand-in-hand with the further unwelcome problem of speeding.

The traditional method of dealing with speeding – speed bumps – is seen by many as increasingly ineffective these days as they’re no obstacle for the larger cars often seen on our roads today and hardly slow them down at all. They’re also unpopular with residents, with one person we spoke to while out and about in Headington commenting that his house shook to the foundations every time a large vehicle drove over the speed hump outside his home.

Safer streets benefit everyone

For streets to be genuinely safe and pleasant enough for people to comfortably choose other, active modes of travel, it’s necessary to restrict through-traffic, thereby also reducing the dangers posed by speeding and distracted driving.

Graphics: Lambeth Living Streets