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

Tony Raven

Sure, there are some people and purposes which you need a motor vehicle for but the large majority of journeys most people don’t.  Getting rid of those unnecessary journeys would make a big difference.    The traffic trunk roads though don’t address the biggest problem which is the pollution those vehicles produce and the air quality related deaths that result.  In time with EVs that might change but for now it’s a big problem.




From: <> on behalf of Adam G <adamgagen@...>
Reply to: <>
Date: Thursday, 17 September 2020 at 11:04
To: <>
Subject: Re: [camdencyclists] Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are a lot like the indoor smoking bans of a decade or so ago


I think we need to keep some nuance though.  I'm not against cars driving in cities above 20 MPH.  People need to move, and some vulnerable groups still find private transport as essential.  The key thing as that such traffic is on roads that are designed for them, to ensure good flow without negative impacts on other groups.  That is where LTNs come in, in my view.  It does not make sense for traffic to flow through residential roads which were never designed for such a load.  Residential neighbourhoods should be primarily for residents to live in - with road safety and clean air a right not an option. 


There are good examples in East Asia and Nordics where 'traffic trunk roads' are identified and prioritised for cars (with real protected cycle lanes where needed), and all other residential roads are prioritised for bikes and residents.  That means filters on all rat run routes, entry exit routes into neighbourhoods that work for residents but disincentivise people driving through them as they would be less efficient routes than other traffic prioritised roads, etc. At present we have extremely little action by Camden and Brent in certain areas - Kilburn High Road / Edgeware Road / Boundary Road is one of the best examples (potentially as they are split responsibilities). 


As a father of two who cycles to work daily (in normal times), until my kids can cycle or go in the buggy behind my bike safely between major areas I'll still have to use non-bike based transport more than I want to. 


I think CC does an amazing job promoting key schemes.  Do we need to take a step back and have a master plan we can promote to hit critical mass of LTNs and routes in the borough?


On Thu, 17 Sep 2020 at 09:05, Tony Raven <tony@...> wrote:

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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