Low-traffic neighbourhoods

Many residential neighbourhoods have through routes for cars, and have too much car traffic. Minor streets are congested, dangerous and unpleasant.



A low traffic neighbourhood can be created in an area of minor streets with main roads on the boundary. It should be about 1 to 2 sq. km in area so that people are not encouraged to drive within the area. Through routes are blocked by closing roads at particular points to motor vehicles, but allowing people to walk and cycle everywhere. Vehicle access to all properties is still possible, but people cannot drive through.


Road closures can be combined with pocket parks, cycle parking and other public realm improvements. In Waltham Forest, low traffic neighbourhoods led to 56% reduction in traffic within the neighbourhood, and 16% reduction in the wider area. Within 1 year, people were walking and cycling 41 minutes more each week, on average.

Visit https://wesupportmh.wordpress.com/ for more information about the Waltham Forest schemes.

Do low traffic neighbourhoods increase traffic on surrounding streets? 

No. It may take a little while for drivers to get used to the new layout, but in the longer term it encourages people to change their travel habits and drive less for short journeys. In Waltham Forest and other places where low traffic neighbourhoods have been built, there has been a major reduction in traffic within the zone and no significant change on surrounding streets. 

Where could low traffic neighbourhoods be built in Harrow? 

TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis includes a map of London showing which areas have well-connected networks of minor roads. These could potentially be converted into low-traffic neighbourhoods. The Harrow portion of the map is shown below:


The grey grids show ‘permeable neighbourhoods’, yellow denotes areas of highest growth and blue/grey shows areas of highest growth and highest cycling potential.