Railton low traffic neighbourhood monitoring report

More people are getting on their bikes now that the Railton low traffic neighbourhood is in place, and motor traffic has gone down. This welcome news is shown in new figures for bike and motor vehicle movements in and around the area.

Railton low traffic neighbourhood was put in place in June, one of several similar schemes across the borough which had been planned since before the pandemic.

Now Lambeth council has issued the first assessment of its effects, including independent traffic analysis.

After analysing the latest figures against the number of journeys since before the scheme began, the council has now produced the first stage monitoring report.

The counted changes in traffic found:

  • Car journeys are down by more than 75 per cent on Railton Road itself, while bicycle journeys have increased by a similar percentage.
  • Within the whole Railton LTN area there has been a 58 per cent drop in car journeys along with a 43 per cent reduction in lorries. There has also been an increase in bicycle journeys of 51 per cent.
  • Cars on roads just outside the LTN have gone down by 21 per cent, while lorry traffic has gone down by 14 per cent. And cycle journeys have gone up by 17 per cent.
  • When taking into account both roads inside the LTN and just outside, overall motor vehicle traffic was down by 31 per cent.

Obviously, Covid and associated lockdowns are having all sorts of impacts on car use and motor traffic levels across London, but the approach Lambeth has used to create a new baseline based on traffic counters in use constantly across the borough shows it’s possible, despite the pandemic, to show that schemes are successfully resulting in getting more people walking and cycling, and cutting car use and car traffic volumes in the area. Again – the evidence mounts that LTNs particularly are not the cause of traffic chaos and are hugely positive overall for Londoners. Earlier in the week a new study from Westminster University showed low traffic schemes benefit the most-deprived Londoners.

The results

The results, according to Lambeth’s monitoring page, so far are:

Within the LTN, traffic volumes versus Covid-adjusted baseline:

  • Car: -58%
  • Cycle: +51%
  • Goods Vehicle: -43%

On the edges of the LTN, traffic volumes versus Covid-adjusted baseline:

  • Car: -21%
  • Cycle: +17%
  • Goods Vehicle: -14%

Overall, across the area, traffic volumes versus Covid-adjusted baseline:

  • Car: -31%
  • Cycle: +32%
  • Goods Vehicle: -23% 

The ‘new normal’

The baseline was calculated to eliminate the impact of Covid on motor traffic across the borough in general and was “calculated for each [count point] based on the difference between current background data and historic background data, both of which come from TfL-owned [counters] which have collected continuous data since at least January 2017.

Negatives?

Rattray Road was the only of the 17 sites counted that experienced a significant percent growth in motor vehicles – a 101% increase in cars, but from a very low base (602 cars daily baseline), and nearly the same percent rise in goods vehicles, from an extremely low base (51 baseline daily), but an even higher rise in cycling (also from a very low base). Coldharbour Lane saw one site counts rise slightly overall, but overall counts for two points on Coldharbour appear slightly down.

Since monitoring, further changes have been proposed including a no entry on Rattray to deal with displacement there.

Read Lambeth council’s Railton Low Traffic Neighbourhood Stage One Monitoring Report