Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

NatCen carried out deliberative research on behalf of the European Climate Foundation (ECF) looking into low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in England.
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Father and daughters walking in LTN
  • Authors:
    Ceri Davies Joshua Vey
    Kate Belcher
    Ella Guscott
    Eliska Holland
  • Publishing date:
    7 December 2021

Three case study areas with low traffic neighbourhoods were selected and people who live or work in the area were invited to take part in online deliberative workshops.


  • To understand the issues experienced when introducing LTN schemes in 2020 and explore perspectives of different groups.
  • To explore how consensus on implementation can be built.
  • To produce clear recommendations to inform future LTN implementation.


Participants across the three area workshops made the following recommendations for future LTN implementation:

Consultation and engagement

  1. Local authorities to engage with LTN residents, boundary residents and businesses from the very start, and provide relevant information.
  2. Any consultation or resident engagement to be on an ongoing basis and ensure that it is inclusive and accessible to all e.g. take account of low literacy in English or digital exclusion.
  3. A credible rationale for LTNs including an explanation of why they are needed in a particular area and the likely benefits e.g. any evidence for the reduction of traffic and improvement in air quality.


  1. Local authorities to provide a map of all the LTNs across their borough and neighbouring boroughs to help residents navigate them effectively. In addition to this, the introduction of LTNs (and any changes to them) to be updated on sat-nav systems.
  2. LTNs and any new measures to be introduced gradually and include a “grace period” to allow residents time to understand and adjust to new measures, e.g. issuing a warning and not a fine on the first one or two incidents of breaching an LTN.
  3. Exemptions and resident passes to be available for those who need exemptions under the right conditions e.g. Blue Badge holders.
  4. Signage and traffic cameras to be clearly visible so that they cannot be missed.
  5. Barriers and planters to be more flexible to allow access for key groups such as emergency services.

Complementary measures to promote alternatives to car use

  1. Incentivising people to walk by introducing better street lighting, and to cycle by making roads safer and providing more secure on street bike storage.
  2. Better communications around cycling and walking options within LTNs as well as improved public transport services that are more frequent, comfortable, accessible and affordable.


  • Three online deliberative workshops (one per case study area) plus one follow-up workshop combining participants from each area.
  • Informed by depth interviews with stakeholders, e.g. local councillors and transport directors.

Research team

Kate Belcher, Ceri Davies, Ella Guscott, Eliska Holland, Joshua Vey (NatCen)

Rachael Owen