A resident-led survey of the Railton low traffic neighbourhood in Lambeth has found three quarters of people support it.  

The Railton LTN, which covers the area between Herne Hill and Brixton, launched in June. 

LTNs involve closing some roads off to motor vehicles with modal filters – camera-enforced or physical barriers – with the aim of reducing car usage, air pollution, and rat-running. 

They are being brought in across London under Covid-19 emergency transport measures, funded by Transport for London, which aim to promote active travel in the wake of the pandemic and make it easier to social distance.  

There has been opposition to the changes – how large depending on the area – mostly due to traffic displacement in some roads, while Wandsworth Council just suspended its schemes.  

However, many support the changes.  

A pro-group of local residents called ‘Railton LTN’ has just published a survey, which found that just under 75 per cent of respondents are in favour.  

This is broken down into 46 per cent of respondents who welcome the scheme, 27 per cent who welcome the scheme but say it “may need adjusting”, eight per cent who say the scheme is “slightly inconvenient for me and/or people who rely on me”, six per cent who said they “don’t have a view until I see how it’s working”, and 23 per cent who “don’t like the scheme at all”. 

The survey includes questions on car ownership, commuting, traffic, safety, and how residents have been affected by the new LTN. 

The group said they “made big efforts to reach as many people as possible” but “understand the limitations” of an internet survey, particularly for those with limited or no access to a computer.  

“The combined area of Railton LTN houses in excess of 7500 people. By definition, this survey is purely a snapshot of people’s views,” according to the survey report.  

Of the 438 people who responded, 84 per cent answered the whole survey. 

The majority of respondents live in the area, while some work and run a business there. 

The majority of people who answered the survey – 63 per cent – own a car, van, or motorbike, compared to one in three across Lambeth.  

Public transport is the main way of commuting for respondents (60 per cent), with cycling and ebike as the next most common means at 44 per cent. 

The majority of people said there was too much traffic and pollution in their roads and in their neighbourhood.  

According to the survey, cycling safety is an issue – 64 per cent of cyclists (304 respondents) “see it as either dangerous or not safe enough in the Railton area pre-introduction of the LTN”.  

“More than half (55 per cent) of those who don’t own a car or rarely use it think walking is ‘not safe enough’ or ‘dangerous’,” the survey found.  

Wandsworth Times:
Shakespeare Road 

It also found that backing for the scheme depended on which road people lived in.  

For example, of those who live in Shakespeare Road, the majority of respondents (35 per cent) said they do not like the scheme at all, 29 per cent backed it, and 28 per cent welcomed it but wanted to see adjustments.  

Comparatively, the overwhelming majority of respondents in Railton Road either backed the LTN (53 per cent) or backed it with adjustments (23 per cent).  

The survey delved into what changes could be made to the scheme to improve it.  

Those in favour of the LTN suggested making Trelawn Road one-way, with no entry off Effra Road to prevent rat-running. 

They also said better enforcement of the rules was needed, along with more traffic calming measures, better signage, and addressing traffic congestion near Herne Hill Station/ Milkwood Road.  

Backers raised concerns about traffic displacement and pollution, suggested more bike hangers and improved cycling infrastructure, and fewer parking bays. 

Respondents against the LTN raised the lack of consultation and proper pollution level analysis, displaced traffic, and social inequalities introduced by the scheme “e.g. Black, Asian, and ethnic minorities suffering more from pollution from displaced traffic”. 

Shakespeare Road residents, who have said they feel isolated following the introduction of the scheme, suggested moving the modal filter so the northern half could be included in the LTN, or allowing residents to be excluded from fines.  

Those against also said journey times had been extended, while vulnerable and disabled people who can’t use public transport are being disproportionately affected.  

The Railton LTN is temporary as it stands, while Lambeth Council will continue to consult residents on how it’s going.  

A full consultation must be held before the scheme can become permanent.  

It will be fascinating and really useful to see how these attitudes change as people get used to this new way of living

Adam Keelan, a local resident behind the survey, intends to keep repeating it every few months to gauge any shifts in attitudes.  

“We saw both people who reject the scheme, and even some of those who support it, adding comments saying they were concerned it would push traffic elsewhere, increase social inequalities, or adversely affect local businesses. 

“It will be fascinating and really useful to see how these attitudes change as people get used to this new way of living.  

“I think it will be a powerful tool for the community to trouble-shoot problems and come up with positive ideas to make the LTN better,” he said.