Amwell LTN scheme trial to continue after 'success'

A consultation has launched on Islington's low-traffic neighbourhood in Amwell, Islington

The Amwell LTN - Credit: Julia Gregory

The low traffic neighbourhood [LTN] in the Amwell area of Islington is set to have its trial extended. 

Islington Council said the ‘people friendly streets’ scheme has produced positive data and been largely welcomed by residents. 

Keith Townsend, Islington Council’s corporate director for environment, said: “For too long, there’s been too much traffic in our borough, bringing air pollution and road danger. 

“Our people-friendly streets neighbourhoods are helping to address that by making it easier to walk, cycle, scoot and use buggies and wheelchairs.”

An LTN is a scheme which stops traffic passing through a neighbourhood. Proponents have said that it will eliminate rat running, encourage people to not drive and improve the local air quality. Opponents have long argued that it only shifts pollution to other areas. 

The council began the trial in Amwell, near Clerkenwell, in November 2020. It has seen filters put in place in Great Percy Street, Lloyd Square (north side), Lloyd Square (south side) and Margery Street just west of Wilmington Street. 

Islington Council said 440 responded to a consultation from December 15, 2021 to January 31, 2022, and that 42 per cent said it was easier to walk and cycle for short trips since the scheme’s introduction with 17pc disagreeing. In addition, 43pc said the air was cleaner and 45pc said it was easier to cross the road.

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Comparing data from September 2020 with updated figures from October 2021, the report revealed that within the neighbourhood traffic dropped by 48pc and the number of speeding vehicles fell by 70pc. Cycling also increased by 65pc within the neighbourhood, including a 196pc rise on Margery Street (westbound).

For the next phase of the trial, the council will introduce an exemption for Blue Badge holders to pass through camera-enforced filters in Amwell. The council is also changing one of the traffic filters, on the north side of Lloyd Square, to be camera-enforced, instead of bollard-enforced. The trial continues to test these two changes before a decision is made on making the scheme permanent. 

Mr Townsend added: “We’ve carefully monitored the impact of the Amwell people-friendly streets neighbourhood and have listened to resident feedback, which has informed our decision to continue the trial. 

“By introducing a Blue Badge holder exemption in the neighbourhood, we can make it easier for disabled people to travel in Amwell, while ensuring that the scheme continues to deliver cleaner, greener, healthier streets.”