Low-traffic schemes benefit most-deprived Londoners, study finds | The Guardian
Data dispels myth that low-traffic neighbourhoods are disproportionately found in privileged areas
Peter Walker Tue 2 Mar 2021
Low-traffic neighbourhoods, which use filters to try to reduce motor traffic on residential streets, do not disproportionately benefit more privileged communities, the most comprehensive study of their rollout so far has concluded.
The research, which examined about 400 filters created in London last year, seemingly demolishes the main argument by opponents of such schemes: that they tend to shunt vehicles from richer residential areas on to roads lived in by more deprived people.
One media report last month used an analysis of house prices to support this objection, saying homes tended to be more expensive in streets that benefited from low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs). Controversy over the neighbourhoods, created in cities across the UK by using planters or bollards to prevent through-traffic while leaving the route open for cyclists and walkers, has led to several being scrapped.
But the new study, led by Rachel Aldred, a professor of transport at Westminster University in London, uses detailed and sophisticated data to compare streets, including occupants’ age, ethnicity, disability, employment and car ownership, and the government’s index of multiple deprivation, down to micro-areas of about 300 residents.