Wandsworth suspends Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

A scheme to make residential streets more bike and pedestrian friendly in Wandsworth has been suspended over concerns about emergency access and traffic flow.

The Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) were introduced in August as part of Wandsworth Council’s response to Covid-19.

They are designed to encourage people to use more sustainable forms of transport, by deterring rat run traffic.

However an initial review has identified concerns with emergency access and traffic flows – which according to the council is compounded by additional changes that TfL is making to red route roads in the borough.

These include ‘significant interventions’ on the A24 (Balham High Road to Tooting High Street and beyond) such as moving bus stops, installing cycle lane segregation, banning turns at a number of junctions and removing parking.

Wandsworth admits the LTNs have caused confusion and long traffic queues.

Cllr John Locker, Wandsworth Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning and transportation, said: “We have monitored the traffic flows and listened to feedback from residents and businesses. 

“We have also spoken to our partners including local hospitals and key services to hear the impact on them.

“It is clear that the LTNs are not delivering the benefits we want to see. In fact it looks like the combination of changes in areas like Tooting, where TfL are making changes to the main high road, are unfortunately having the opposite effect. 

“That is why we have taken the difficult decision to pause and re-think about how we can achieve our objective of delivering healthier, safer streets.”

22 September 2020