There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen

Lambeth Council has today announced jaw dropping plans to enable more people to ride safely locally and to work. These much needed proposals add to the councils recent walking and cycling response to coronavirus (COVID-19). They will help people travel avoiding public transport, enabling social distancing.

Exciting plan for better streets

This is a massive acceleration of the plans set out in the transport strategy implementation plan last year. The ‘baseline’ plan, which Lambeth will fund itself, will see four low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and three healthy routes in place by August. The LTNs will be the Oval/Fentiman Road area, Railton Neighbourhood, Ferndale Neighbourhood and Streatham Hill. Cycleway/Quietway 5 gets improvements between Clapham and Waterloo and safe space will be created on Kennington Road and Loughborough Road. And Windmill Drive will be closed to through traffic. Finally(!)

Lambeth Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Claire Holland, announcing the programme today

And that’s just the start.

Phase 2 sees another three LTNs – Streatham Wells, Brixton Hill and Tulse Hill wards. And another three healthy routes – Barrington Road, Atlantic Road and the Streatham to Peckham Cycleway.

And that’s not even all they plan to deliver within the first six months – the full bid would enable another five more LTNs as well as healthy routes on Coldharbour Lane and Brixton Water Lane.

To make this happen the council will bid for funding from TfL’s emergency budget. These schemes are, necessarily, going to be done with fairly basic materials in the first instance. But they will create safe space and can always be improved later.  

Given the quality of Lambeth’s recent consultations and energy and enthusiasm of their team we have high hopes TfL will fully fund what would be a revolution in cycling provision in the borough.  

More detail in the decision papers .

Image from Lambeth’s consultation for a healthy route from Gipsy Hill to Brockwell Park earlier this year.

What are low traffic neighbourhoods and healthy routes

Low traffic neighbourhoods are when you stop motor vehicle traffic cutting from one main road, straight through an area, to the next main road over. These are a big win for walking, cycling and local community.

Healthy routes are walking and cycling routes to local services and amenities. As Lambeth’s own transport strategy says, ‘a healthy route has the right conditions to enable more people to walk and cycle. A healthy route links people with places they need to get to, such as schools, workplaces, amenities and shops. A healthy route is convenient, attractive, feels safe and is accessible to all. A healthy route could be a residential street or a main road or a combination of both. And critically motor traffic levels are low, or on busier roads there is dedicated space that is not shared with general traffic.’