Hanover Low Traffic Neighbourhood/Liveable Streets Pilot programme
Date of Meeting:
16 March 2021
Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture
01273 290 390
Hanover & Elm Grove, Queen’s Park
FOR GENERAL RELEASE
1. PURPOSE OF REPORT AND POLICY CONTEXT
1.1 The Committee agreed that a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) scheme would be piloted in the Hanover Area following a deputation presented by Hanover Action (Group) in June 2020. The Committee subsequently agreed in September 2020, that the Hanover LTN Pilot would be delivered through the LTP capital programme, subject to formal funding allocation.
1.2 This report provides an update on the initial LTN Pilot project planning stage, which will enable officers to continue to engage with the community and stakeholders. Key stakeholder groups include Liveable Hanover which is a subgroup of Hanover Action. The wider Hanover community and adjacent areas will also be engaged in order to progress the next key stages required to plan and deliver the Hanover Pilot LTN.
1.3 This report follows an initial literature review of LTN development case studies, local authority LTN strategy and reports, from across the UK and international settings.
1.4 Officers will continue to review the principles of LTN schemes and suitable complementary measures - and how these can be developed and delivered, so that this Hanover LTN Pilot can be a success in its own right by addressing local issues - as well as help inform a wider LTN delivery strategy for the city and contribute to achieving the carbon neutral target by 2030.
2.1 That the Committee welcomes the progress that has been made since the Hanover Action deputation was received, through the continued engagement with the local community, in the development of this pilot project.
2.2 That the committee notes the proposed Low Traffic Neighbourhood funding allocation for 2021/22 in the Local Transport Plan capital programme and requests a further report following completion of the initial project planning, and options identification stages.
3. CONTEXT/ BACKGROUND INFORMATION
3.1 In June 2020, this Committee agreed for an Officer Report to be produced regarding the matters detailed in the Deputation presented by Hanover Action (Group). The Deputation requested the piloting of a Liveable or Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme (LTN) in the Hanover area. It also agreed that the council’s Interim Covid-19 Response Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) should include an action to ‘develop a pilot Local Traffic Neighbourhood as requested in the Hanover Action Deputation’.
3.2 In September 2020, this Committee considered the council’s updated Urgent Response Transport Action Plan – (Appendix A) updated September 2020 Executive Summary. The decision was made to move the Hanover LTN Pilot project from the Government’s Active Travel Tranche 2 funding (Action Plan), so that it would be considered as part of a future LTP programme.
3.3 Furthermore, at the September 2020 ETS Committee, it was agreed that the scoping and the piloting of at least one street pocket park within the Hanover Pilot LTN would feature within the options identification process, subject to adequate streams of funding being allocated and assurances from community groups that such measures - which could include vegetative planting - would be cared for, once delivered.
3.4 Hanover is “a very high density mid-Victorian residential area of small terraced houses directly onto narrow streets on a steep valley side, in mixed private tenure with several shops and public houses. A strong sense of place.”
3.5 Two resident permit parking schemes within the Hanover area were introduced in October 2017. Resident permit parking schemes are noted within the Bath & Somerset LTN Strategy (2020) as being a measure suited for resolving public highway issues across suburban residential areas and can complement LTN schemes, which are typically delivered in residential urban settings.
3.6 LTN schemes are described by Living Streets and the London Campaign for Cycling (2020) as groupings of residential streets that are transformed socially and environmentally through traffic management measures. Traffic modal filters such as bollards and planters are installed. These measures are primarily introduced to prevent unnecessary through traffic or rat running. LTN schemes are typically framed by distributor A or B classified roads suitable for carrying higher levels of traffic.
3.7 Notable LTN and liveable street(s) case studies include successful schemes developed across the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Unnecessary traffic is removed from streets which are transformed from areas dominated by private vehicles into healthier and safer spaces and places, for residents to live, with improved cycling and walking networks. The Walthamstow Village LTN scheme has resulted in an overall drop off 38% in traffic. Early traffic counts indicate that there has been traffic ‘evaporation’ rather than displacement, given that there is no evidence of any significant increase in traffic in nearby roads. Support for the scheme post construction is now very high in the community, with less than 2% of respondents wanting the scheme revoked or returned to its former condition.
3.8 Similar schemes in Europe, include the ‘Superblock’ typology in Spain, which has been developed in Vitoria Gasteiz, Northern Spain and Barcelona in Catalonia. The Barcelona ‘Superblock’ is comprised of nine mixed use blocks within the Cerda urban grid City plan, which has proven to have been so successful that this low traffic neighbourhood typology is now being planned to be delivered across many areas of the city.
3.9 TfL has responded to the Covid-19 Pandemic by mobilising and delivering Liveable Neighbourhood programmes and more widely its Streetspace Programme across London. Such schemes are delivered through Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) to create safe space for social distancing within streets, that would otherwise be dominated by private motor vehicles.
3.10 Furthermore, the Council’s draft LTP5 identifies LTN schemes as an appropriate intervention to achieve carbon neutrality, as detailed within a separate report to this Committee, March 2021.
3.11 The introduction of LTN schemes is a valid response to practically responding and addressing the Climate Emergency as noted in the Bath & Somerset LTN Strategy (2020).
3.12 The ‘Decarbonising Transport, Setting the Challenge’ paper published by Department for Transport (DfT) in March 2020 states that “public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities. We will use our cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network. - Clean, place-based solutions will meet the needs of local people”.
3.13 Lessons learned from precedent LTN schemes and reports by campaign groups highlight the need to ensure that engagement is inclusive across the community. Furthermore, it is critical to engage with key Stakeholders and service operators that will require a degree of continued access to a future LTN area setting(s), such as council services (e.g. household waste collection and public transport) and emergency services.
3.14 The case studies make it abundantly clear that the Hanover LTN Pilot project will require considerable community input to ensure success, which will include the need for ongoing support from representative groups and local councillors.
4. ANALYSIS & CONSIDERATION OF ANY ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
4.1 The council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019. The city’s Climate Assembly recommendations in 2020 resulted in the identification of LTN schemes as one of a number of priorities to implement, to work towards and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
4.2 It is critical for the council to ensure that appropriate measures and traffic management options are tested and monitored through the Hanover LTN Pilot. The pilot scheme will be used to help inform the medium to longer-term strategy for the LTN scheme delivery framework across Brighton and Hove.
4.3 The development of the LTN Pilot scheme will include an “options identification and appraisal process”, which may lead to an LTN Pilot that is introduced in a single phase or a number of phases to allow for adequate monitoring periods. Any first phase would seek to deliver significant benefits in the reduction of through traffic by introducing modal filters on the key rat runs. A future report to the Committee will set out an appropriate delivery plan subject to community and stakeholder engagement, and the identification of a preferred option(s).
5. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & CONSULTATION
5.1 Officer(s) have attended initial meetings with members of Hanover Action, which have included presentations from key people involved in the delivery of LTN schemes, such as those delivered across the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
5.2 Methods of engagement used in the delivery of LTNs in London included the use of mapping tools. It is anticipated that a similar approach will be adopted by the Council subject to a review of existing systems and software and alternative platforms that may be suitable. Moreover, it is imperative that supplementary means of engagement are deployed within the overall methodology to ensure that processes are inclusive to maximise the welfare benefits that an inclusive scheme can achieve.
5.3 Officers will work with Liveable Hanover to ensure that inclusivity is central to the planning and engagement process of the Pilot LTN and any complementary measures such as the potential introduction of pocket parks can also be considered.
6.1 Council project officers will continue to work with the community representative groups and local councillors to develop the Hanover Pilot LTN throughout the project stages, which are set out in Appendix 1.
6.2 Officers will ensure that the project data baselines are determined for future LTN scheme monitoring purposes and will appoint consultants to ensure all aspects of the project are fully addressed.
6.3 This work will include the scoping of opportunities and complementary LTN scheme measures, which could feature within the project’s lifecycle or be delivered at a later date, subject to the further allocation of funding and community engagement.
6.4 LTN schemes were identified as a key priority measure through the BHCC Climate Assembly (2020). The Hanover LTN Pilot Project is therefore a critical project that will help inform the wider LTN delivery strategy, as well as significantly contribute to the council’s work to deliver a Carbon Neutral and Liveable City.
7. FINANCIAL & OTHER IMPLICATIONS:
7.1 The Hanover Pilot LTN will initially be funded by an allocation of £300,000 within the overall 2021/22 Local Transport Plan capital programme, which is the subject on an earlier report on the agenda of this meeting. This funding will be used to progress the project and to ensure that suitable processes of engagement, communications, options-testing, and research can be conducted. LTN schemes with modal filters can result in the need to remove parking spaces to accommodate turning heads for vehicles within the LTN zone. This sort of change may require the removal of a small number of resident parking bays which may result in an overall loss of associated revenue.
Finance Officer Consulted: Rob Allen Date: 04/03/2020
7.2 There are no immediate legal implications as a result of this report and the initial stage of progressing this pilot scheme. Statutory and public consultation on proposed Traffic Regulation Orders and ETROs will formally proceed following the future options identification process, and during the detailed design stage of the project.
Lawyer Consulted: Stephanie Stammers Date: 17 February 2021
7.3 Precedent LTN schemes have adopted the use of community engagement mapping tools, as a means to gather local knowledge and insight that can prove to be invaluable in terms of achieving a successful scheme. However, engagement methodologies must be supplemented through other methods to ensure all sections of the community have opportunities to contribute and influence the various stages of the development of the scheme. The recent Transport for All ‘Pave the way’ report includes recommendations to ensure that engagement is inclusive across the community.
7.4 It is essential that a key objective of the scheme is to ensure that traffic management improvements and physical changes to the public highway, in terms of accessibility and an inclusive public highway, are delivered through inclusive processes of engagement. It is anticipated that an Accessibility street audit of the Hanover area will be conducted as an early step of the timeline of project tasks. LTN Scheme principles include the reallocation of road space so that the public highway can accommodate accessible cycling infrastructure, and to support active travel choices more generally, for all.
7.5 LTN schemes are consistent with the aims and objectives of the council’s Carbon Neutral Programme, sustainable communities' and public health interventions. By reducing the impact of unnecessary traffic and, enabling greater use of active and sustainable travel options within the Hanover area, there will be local and citywide sustainability benefits.
Any Other Significant Implications:
Crime & Disorder Implications:
7.7 There are no direct crime and order implications associated with this report. Crime and disorder aspects will be considered through the future stage of scheme development including options identification and appraisal.
Risk and Opportunity Management Implications:
7.8 Risk (and opportunities) will be identified, assessed, and managed using the council’s standard corporate risk register. The risk register will be maintained for the project’s lifecycle.
Public Health Implications:
7.9 LTN schemes address and mitigate the risk associated with incommunicable disease (heart disease, cancers and respiratory diseases) associated with obesogenic and carcinogenic environments. Furthermore, London’s Streetspace Programme is a response to the communicable disease caused by the virus infection associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Interventions that can support a more physically active population are characterised by public highway road space reallocation and traffic management methods that are typically found across an LTN scheme.
7.10 Such schemes include modal filters to remove unnecessary traffic, with the aim being to transform streets into healthier and safer spaces supporting social interaction and active forms of travel. Space is reclaimed by residents for amenity use such as exercise, and pocket parks for social interaction and play. The Council’s Health & Wellbeing Strategy 2019-2030 has three key priorities: planning of major developments and transport schemes will promote health and wellbeing; more people will travel actively, and walking and cycling will be prioritised, benefitting physical and mental health, and; air quality will be improved. These priority strategies to support public health outcomes can be supported through LTN scheme planning and delivery.
7.11 Furthermore, in the London Borough of Southwark, The Guy’s and St Thomas’s Charitable Trust (GSTTC) is to directly fund three Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes to support improvement is public health outcomes, associated with improving air quality and increasing levels of active travel.
Corporate / Citywide Implications:
7.12 The LTN Pilot will provide an evidence base from which future schemes and more broadly a LTN delivery strategy can be structured to the unique Brighton & Hove context.
1. Indicative Hanover Pilot project activities, stages, and milestones
1. ETS Committee Deputation and Report - June 2020
2. ETS Committee Report - September 2020
3. BHCC Urban Characterisation Study (2009)
4. Transport for All – Pave the way report (2021)
5. BHCC Health & Wellbeing Strategy (2019)