Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and other roads filtered so that cycles can pass through but motor traffic cannot, are nothing new in Lambeth. The only question is why when the past improvements were successful it has taken until now to see more areas benefit.
Cycling has always been a force for improvements in all our lives and a network of low traffic cycle routes is one way to get people cycling so Lambeth Cyclists campaigned for, and achieved, many of the Lambeth routes of the London Cycle Network which led to a series of interventions across the borough creating quieter streets around an east-west route across Clapham, Brixton & Tulse Hill known as LCN 25 and a north-south route via Clapham, Stockwell, Kennington up to Waterloo.
Most people happily shopping and eating at Herne Hill’s popular Sunday market are probably unaware of the huge amount of energy required by local residents to close Railton Rd at the Herne Hill end.
As Lambeth Cyclist activist Clare Neely writes “I am very privileged to live in the tiny LTN created by the closure under Cambria Rd bridge, that experience has made me a passionate supporter of LTNs for everyone, everywhere, whether they are as a result of road closures or because Lambeth & the Mayor of London have reallocated space on main roads to cycling.”
Our wonderful Lambeth Celebrity Architect designed public housing estates of the 1960s & 70s were some of the first Low Ttraffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Lambeth. The highway authority may have required one parking space per household but they were mostly located at the edge of estates so the Loughborough Estate, Moorlands, Myatts field North, Cressingham, Central Hill, & others are designed around people walking, not driving through.
Perhaps inspired by this, Lambeth residents living on other streets and squares plagued by rat running traffic, campaigned to have where they live safe to walk & cycle. The Holmewood Gardens area on the east side of Brixton Hill after strenuous campaigning was reconfigured as a Homezone. Other small interventions in the 1980s & 90s were installed such as the West end of Palace road, Hillside road to Hitherfield & Leigham Vale to Kingsmead road creating quiet areas where people tried cycling, walked and got to know their neighbours.
Paving under the railway bridge between Loughborough Park & Railton Rd to prevent rat running traffic, was probably, long ago, the tiny first step to the well supported recently installed Railton LTN.
When Josephine Avenue was blocked for many months at the junction with Brixton Hill while British Gas dug up the road, local residents had a much appreciated break from men cruising the area in cars to meet prostituted women & have sex with them in local streets & gardens. When the gas works were completed the residents campaigned and achieved a permanent closure at that junction to through motor traffic.
A resident of Cambria Rd in Loughborough Junction was badly injured by rat running traffic & Lambeth installed a closure to through motor traffic under the railway bridge, the emergency services insisted on a gate, which they never used, so it was replaced by a sculpture as part of the Seven Bridges project creating a mini LTN in a few local streets and has been seen in Lambeth’s current crop of LTNs across the borough, leading overnight to children walking & scooting to school.