Agenda item

St Ann's Low Traffic Neighbourhood

[Report of the Director of Housing, Regeneration and Planning.  To be introduced by the Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, and the Climate Emergency and Deputy Leader of the Council]


Clerks note:  Councillors Chandwani and Davies left the meeting for the consideration of this item.


The Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency and Deputy Leader of the Council introduced the report which sought approval of the principle to implement the St Ann’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood (St Ann’s LTN) experimental scheme and a range of complementary measures including new pedestrian crossings, cycle hangars and four trial School Streets. The LTN aimed to reduce or remove non-local motor traffic from residential areas of St Ann’s, as well as reduce the number of short trips made by vehicles which could be walked or cycled.  If approved, the proposed Bounds Green LTN would be implemented on a trial basis for a maximum of 18 months under an experimental traffic management order.


The Cabinet Member and Officers responded to questions from Councillor Cawley-Harrison:

-           Engagement had been an issue with this scheme, with majority of people responding to the consultation were car owners and therefore felt that the scheme would negatively impact them.  It was important that non-car owners were engaged with to gain additional views on the scheme.

-           In terms of the impact on Green Lanes, there was a separate study which would look at how the movement of public transport and active travel could be facilitated.  Paragraph 6.93 of the report provided further information.

-           Once the trials had been implemented, there were delegated powers for officers to make changes to the scheme to improve the flow of traffic where there were issues in particular areas.


RESOLVED that Cabinet


1.         Notes the responses received to the proposed St Ann’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) as part of Engagement Stage 1 (Early Engagement), Engagement Stage 2 (Community Design Workshops) and Engagement Stage 3 (Public Consultation) as set out in Appendices E and K;


2.         Approves the making of the experimental traffic management order to implement the St Ann’s LTN experimental scheme, as set out on the plan in Appendix L, subject to funding, and provided that any changes to the plan in Appendix L are reported back to the Leader, Cabinet or an individual Cabinet member for approval before being implemented; 


3.         Approves the making of an experimental traffic management order to implement the School Streets, as set out on the plan in Appendix L, subject to compliance with relevant statutory requirements and detailed engineering drawings to implement the traffic control measures show on the plan;


4.         Approves the bike hangars, as set out on the plan in Appendix L, subject to compliance with relevant statutory requirements and detailed engineering drawings;


5.         Approves the pedestrian crossings, as set out on the plan in Appendix L, subject to compliance with relevant statutory requirements and detailed engineering drawings;


6.         In relation to the LTN only, approve the exemption of:

a.      Blue Badge holders living within the LTN or on its immediate boundary;

b.      Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) transport; and

c.      Essential Haringey Council services catering for people with a disability

to non-hard closure filters in the St Ann’s LTN experimental scheme as per paragraph 6.71 of this report.


7.         Delegates approval to the Director of Environment & Neighbourhoods to agree the engineering drawings for the experimental traffic management orders for the St Ann’s LTN and School Streets and the engineering drawings for the bike hangars and pedestrian crossings, set out recommendations B to E provided any changes to the Plan in Appendix L do not need to be reported back to the Leader, Cabinet or an individual Cabinet member as a key decision;


8.         Authorises the Director of Environment & Neighbourhoods, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency, to modify or suspend the operation of the experimental traffic management orders for the St Ann’s LTN and/or School Streets if it appears to the Director essential in the interests of the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of traffic or for providing suitable and adequate on-street parking facilities, or for preserving or improving the amenities of the area through which any road affected by the order runs provided any decision to modify or suspend does not need to be reported back to the Leader, Cabinet or an individual Cabinet member as a key decision.


Reasons for decision


The proposed St Ann’s LTN has been developed over 10 months informed by a significant amount of engagement with local residents and other key stakeholders. In early 2021, the Council began early engagement with residents and businesses on the proposed LTN. The most common issues raised by respondents were ‘traffic speeding’, ‘poor cycling environment’, ‘traffic volumes’ and ‘rat running traffic’. The most common suggested improvements were ‘reduce traffic volumes’, ‘reduce traffic speeds’, ‘more cycle infrastructure’ and ‘increase traffic and speeding enforcement’. Following this, a series of St Ann’s LTN design proposals were developed to help address the concerns raised. Engagement was carried out on these in May 2021 via online Community Design Workshops.


From 16 August 2021 to Friday 17 September 2021, a public consultation was held on two potential design options (Option A and Option B). Based on the quantitative and qualitative data received as part of the consultation, there was strong support among participants for the introduction of a St Ann’s LTN. A clear preference was expressed for Option A which removes all through-traffic from the area. Those who were in support of Option A wanted to see measures introduced that reduce through-traffic in the area to create a quieter and safer environment within the St Ann’s LTN, with improvements to air quality and improvements in cycling safety.


It is noted, however, that support for Option A was not universal with some participants expressing strong objections to the introduction of any measures to cut through traffic in the area. In response to specific concerns raised, the Council has made a number of post-consultation changes to the proposed St Ann’s LTN as well as proposed a number of exemptions to the traffic restrictions. Other  concerns of those opposing the St Ann’s LTN (Option A) are noted, particularly displacement of some motorised vehicular traffic to boundary roads, some lengthened journey times and potential increased air pollution on boundary roads. However, by taking a phased implementation of delivering the School Streets, pedestrian crossing facilities and bike hangars first and monitoring the impact of these, potential traffic displacement mitigation measures can be better identified and deployed, in conjunction with any changes within the St Ann's LTN, if necessary.


Introducing the St Ann’s LTN is expected to result in the adjustment of motor vehicle travel behaviour of both those living within the LTN and those living outside. Some drivers will adjust routes and behaviour to avoid the St Ann’s LTN area, switch to walking, cycling or public transport or even reduce the number of journeys. The proposed St Ann’s LTN will contribute to reducing through-traffic in the area; it will also help encourage residents who currently make trips by motor vehicle to switch some local journeys to more sustainable travel modes. A substantial proportion of locally-generated motor vehicle trips (i.e. by Haringey residents) are short. TfL data indicates that over 60% of such trips (accounting for those that are essential/cannot be made by other means, e.g. due to a physical or other disability) could be made by cleaner, more sustainable modes. By making some local motor vehicle trips slightly less attractive (e.g. slightly longer due to restrictions in certain places) and walking/cycling much more attractive (by reducing dominance of vehicle traffic on these streets), a switch from the former to the latter will be encouraged.


Transport is the third largest source of emissions in the borough yet less than half of Haringey households have access to a car or van and this figure is falling. Census data from 2011 shows that household access across the area to cars or vans is low. 60% of households in St Ann’s ward, 62% of households in Harringay ward and 65% of households in Tottenham Green ward do not have access to a car or van. This means that the majority of households in the area do not benefit from the large amount of space on the public highway which currently enables rat-running traffic.


A range of assessments have been carried out to understand the potential impacts of the proposed St Ann’s LTN. The Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) showed that the measures are likely to advance equalities for many protected groups, albeit with a small disadvantage noted for those solely reliant on motor vehicles for transport. On balance, the scheme is considered to promote equality of opportunity among protected groups.


Under the Traffic Management Act 2004, Haringey Council has a ‘network management duty’ under section 16 in its capacity as local traffic authority. In simple terms the duty is to secure “the expeditious movement of traffic including pedestrians on the authority's road network”.


A high-level transport assessment was prepared for the St Ann’s LTN which predicted a reduction in motorised vehicular traffic within the proposed St Ann’s LTN area and a range of potential impacts on motorised vehicular traffic (from negative/neutral to 100%+ increase) on certain parts of the boundary roads and at certain times. However, it should be noted this is only a prediction and was based on the worst-case assumption that all motorised vehicular traffic reassigns to the nearest available route and assumed that the boundary roads are able to accommodate additional motorised vehicular traffic. There are varying levels of spare capacity in those boundary roads. Early reviews by Sustrans of 6 trial LTNs across London have shown a general reduction in traffic over time within the LTNs with a mixed picture for the boundary roads. It is only possible to accurately understand impacts of the proposals on the highway network once the scheme is in place. The scheme is proposed to be implemented on a trial basis, supported by a comprehensive monitoring programme covering traffic flows and pedestrian flows, bus journey times, and emergency response times, and air quality. It should be noted that ‘traffic’ includes motorised and non-motorised travel modes and it is considered that the Council would not be in breach of its network management duty in implementing the St Ann’s LTN, provided that it is phased appropriately, including having regard to other LTNs being taken forward by the Council (Bounds Green and Bruce Grove/West Green) and considering possible mitigation measures to counter the extent of negative impact on its boundary roads.


The Department for Transport’s statutory guidance on the Traffic Management Act 2004: network management to support recovery from COVID-19 (last updated 30 July 2021) sets out that, following the pandemic, local authorities are expected to continue to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling including through measures such as modal filters which can create low-traffic or traffic-free neighbourhoods.


Alternative Options Considered


The alternative options available to the Council are:


Option 1: Implement an alternate design for the St Ann’s LTN. Engagement Stage 3 included public consultation on two LTN Options (Option A and Option B). Implementation of Option B is not recommended as it was not supported by respondents in the public consultation (compared with Option A which was strongly supported) and it also would not eliminate through traffic in the St Ann’s area and consequently would not deliver the same benefits as Option A


Option 2: Implement the St Ann’s LTN in a geographically-phased way – i.e. segmenting the area into discrete parts. Although this would enable the funding currently available to be used to implement full LTN measures in one or more parts of St Ann’s (e.g. from Green Lanes to Black Boy Lane, from Black Boy Lane to Avenue Road and from Avenue Road to Seven Sisters Road), the effect would merely be to temporarily displace north-south through-traffic to slightly fewer roads within the overall St Ann’s LTN and therefore exacerbate the problems currently experienced on those roads, particularly by their residents. However, the selection of which parts to proceed with and which ones should be deferred until sufficient funding was available would be arbitrary and, for the most part, would represent a slight variation of Option B. Furthermore, additional cost would be incurred in creating any such discrete parts, delaying the rate at which the full St Ann’s LTN could be created.


Option 3: Not to implement an LTN in St Ann’s i.e. ‘Do Nothing’. This option is discounted as it would not: reduce pollution; reduce motor traffic collisions; reduce carbon emissions; reclaim neighbourhood streets for pedestrians and communities; support active travel modes and therefore improved health outcomes; address inequalities with impacts felt disproportionately by those who do not own a car.

Supporting documents: