Re: Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are a lot like the indoor smoking bans of a decade or so ago

Tony Raven

I agree.





Tony  😊



From: <> on behalf of Richard Fletcher <rickyfletch@...>
Reply to: <>
Date: Thursday, 17 September 2020 at 08:37
To: <>
Subject: Re: [camdencyclists] Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are a lot like the indoor smoking bans of a decade or so ago


The smoking analogy holds imo. 


The public perceives a necessity (freedom to drive), as smokers considered they had a right to smoke in a pub.  The political decision in the UK to ban smokers came from peer pressure and a change in social opinion. The medical evidence against smoking had been conclusive for years. Public opinion started to shift against smoking as the middle classes and opinion makers gave up and started to recognise the health risk. Then more enlightened countries went about and banned it in pubs, the tourists started to complain, and more and more people stopped going to the pub


Today we have a similar situation. The health risks of air pollution through vehicle exhausts are well known as is the accident risk. These facts have been known for decades. Mitigation strategies have been used, such as air bags, seat belts, and street furniture. However public opinion is moving against vehicles in neighbourhood, with the need for more pavement space, the added risk from covid with air pollution.  Now we need an enlightened country or town to lead…. to cut the accident risk and lower air pollution by bringing in an urban speed limit of 20 mph EVERYWHERE, on all roads. Thus air pollution would be reduced, and accident risk. Cyclists may start to resume using the roads in numbers. Drivers may think, hold it with an electric bike I can get about just as well. ( 60%+ of people are put off cycling because of accident risk)


Other localised measures will be employed as is happening now






On 16 Sep 2020, at 20:26, George Coulouris <george@...> wrote:


Well designed LTNs shift the through traffic only to nearby main roads (which will probably become congested). The analogy holds up: smokers have to use smoking rooms or shelters which are crowded and unpleasant so 50% gave it up. 

On September 16, 2020 6:45:59 PM GMT+01:00, John Stewart <john.stewart@...> wrote:

The analogy falls apart, though, because at least in proposed Canonbury West LTN, the effect will be to shift traffic to other streets.  So the analogy is a ban on smoking in one pub, leading to all the smokers going to other pubs which are just as bad.


I am a bicyclist and in general in favour of well designed LTNs, but this one will be terrible.


From: <> On Behalf Of George Coulouris via
Sent: 16 September 2020 6:14 p.m.
To: CCC <>
Subject: [camdencyclists] Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are a lot like the indoor smoking bans of a decade or so ago


What a great analogy:


Josh Blacker (Ealing councillor)

A propos of nothing*: Once upon a time, people could smoke in pubs and cafes. This was harmful to them, to others, and generally made the environment pretty unpleasant. But it was the status quo. 

*yes, this is a thinly-veiled thread on LTNs. 

Other people smoked regardless of the impact their choice had on you. They smoked around your children, who were breathing in toxic air. The public health implications were huge. 

Campaigns were launched to ask people to change their behaviour, to little effect. The then-CMO said “voluntary agreements were not reducing the health risks from passive smoking quickly enough”. Something drastic had to be done. 

Enter, the smoking ban. This was hugely controversial - 78% were against it in 2007, shortly after it took effect. Your personal choice was now restricted, for the benefit of other people. 

The health effects were immediate. Heart attack rates fell noticeably. Longer-term fewer people will suffer from passive smoking - and with smoking down by almost a half, from smoking itself. Our communal spaces are much more pleasant, too. 

Public support has done an about turn. From 78% against to 83% in favour ten years later.
It takes incredible bravery in politics to do something on the face of it so deeply unpopular, but sometimes the evidence tells you action must be taken. 

Behaviour change is hard. Asking nicely often doesn't work. Changing the implications of people's choices - to smoke you have to leave the pub and go outside, for instance - gives people a reason to change those choices. 

Thanks to @JXantheW have realised I misread YouGov support in 2007 - people broadly in favour. But opposition was very vocal and angry: "The anti-smoking fanatics will use the ban to victimise and stigmatise smokers," Forest said. That's language we recognise from LTNs... 

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Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.


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