Southwark Council are implementing measures centred around Great Suffolk Street to create a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) and improve how the neighbourhood functions.
What are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods?
A LTN is an area of minor roads, bordered by main roads (used by buses, lorries and non-local traffic), where "through" motor vehicle traffic is discouraged. All emergency motorised vehicles and other traffic (walking, cycling, cargo bike) can still get through the area in the normal way. Residents and businesses in a LTN can still access the area by motor vehicle. Deliveries and collections can be made as usual, but some access routes may change.
The new layout is designed to discourage through traffic across the area, no traffic-calming measures such as speed bumps and road narrowing are being applied.
Why focus on the area around Great Suffolk Street?
Motor traffic on minor and residential roads in London has doubled since 2008, this reflects wider trends across the country. This may be due to the rise in online deliveries and the prevalence of digital shortcutting apps.
Typically this has a detrimental effect on the surrounding environment - for businesses, residents and other users - by increasing noise and air pollution, as well as safety issues connected with increased traffic. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses, cyclists and pedestrians are seeking more outdoor space so Better Bankside is supporting these proposals as they create more safe spaces for people to access the area.
Bankside’s medieval streets were laid out before cars came to dominate the roads and were not intended to carry through traffic at the level we observe during peak hours. Data collected shows local streets being used as cut-throughs, presenting problems for commuters walking from stations and cyclists in the area.
When and next steps:
The Great Suffolk Street Low Traffic Neighbourhoods will be implemented during the last week of October, however incremental changes to the measures will be possible for the next 6-months. Businesses and residents will be able to feedback for the first six months. Details of the feedback process will be published after the event.
A briefing was held with Southwark Council on Tuesday 20 October. If you missed the event you can find some FAQs on the left of this page, along with an illustrative proposal plan.