Low-traffic liveable neighbourhoods 


We’ve known for decades that motor traffic has a serious impact on the health and quality of life of people living on streets. It’s dangerous, it’s noisy, it pollutes and it has a strangling effect on community interaction and healthy physical activity.

London Living Streets campaigns for low-traffic neighbourhoods that create attractive, safe and healthy places for people, not cars.

Low-traffic neighbourhoods are made up of:

  • traffic cells where through-traffic is restricted by barriers like bollards or planters;
  • urban boulevards/avenues or people-friendly main roads with safe space to cycle, generous pavements, planting, seating; and
  • connected quiet streets that link the traffic cells with safe crossings across the boulevards/main roads. This creates a city-wide network of direct routes for walking and cycling that any age or ability can use.

We know that low-traffic neighbourhoods –- also known as ‘mini-hollands’ –- deliver genuine benefits to all residents. Children play out more, neighbours catch up, air pollution is lower, road safety improves and walking and cycling are the natural choice for everyday journeys.

This has all been proven in Walthamstow Village, one of London’s most advanced liveable neighbourhood schemes. For more detail on that scheme read the notes and blog following a London Living Streets visit to the area in 2017, by Emma Griffin our website manager.

Since then, Westminster University has published research on mini-Holland programmes across Outer London, including Waltham Forest. This shows that, within just one year of substantial changes being made to infrastructure, people are walking and cycling, on average, an additional 41 minutes a week.

For further detail, access the briefing documents created by London Living Streets, Living Streets and London Cycling Campaign:

Please contact us if you want to know more or want to help your borough to put in a bid. We can also visit your borough to present the benefits of low traffic neighbourhoods. An example presentation given to West Midlands Councillors and Council officers at the Cyclenation Conference in Birmingham in November 2018 can be accessed here.

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