King Charles Road becomes Kingston’s first permanent Low Traffic Neighbourhood
Since its introduction in September 2020, the trial scheme has created a safer, quieter space for pedestrians and cyclists and is now set to become a permanent fixture.
Last night (Thursday 22 July), the Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee approved the recommendation to make the current Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) trial on King Charles Road permanent, keeping the fixed closure and planters in place.
This is subject to ongoing monitoring, additional traffic and air quality surveys, and the creation of a traffic master plan. The new plan for Berrylands will help to mitigate any potential impacts on the roads surrounding the scheme, with a particular focus on Browns Road, Hollyfield Road and Raeburn Avenue.
Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes are areas that are closed off to through-traffic. This prevents drivers from using residential roads as shortcuts and makes it safer and easier for people to walk and cycle. They also help to improve air quality over time.
The King Charles Road LTN was first introduced as a trial in September 2020. More than 120 residents from within the LTN area shared their views on the scheme and opinion was broadly split with 46.5% in favour of making it permanent and 48.8% opposed.
The main concerns raised by residents were the possibility of displaced traffic, delays and a lack of suitable signage. As a result we introduced more advanced signage and clearer road markings to the scheme.
Since its implementation there has been encouraging traffic reductions on nearly all monitored roads in and around the LTN, including a 80% reduction on the southern section of King Charles Road, a 70% decrease on Derby Road and between a 19-33% reduction in traffic levels on Ewell Road (all traffic levels compared to pre-COVID levels).
There has also been a 39% increase in cycling within the LTN (up from an average of 266 cyclists a week to 371) and there is evidence of improvements in air quality on the LTN boundary roads including Ewell Road and Derby Road.
The council is however aware of increases in traffic on Browns Road, Hollyfield Road and Raeburn Avenue and will continue to monitor traffic levels across the whole LTN area and review alternative traffic solutions to help address these issues.
Councillor Stephanie Archer, Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Sustainable Transport at Kingston Council said:
At Kingston Council we are committed to tackling climate change, improving air quality and enabling our residents and visitors to use sustainable travel options.
We are passionate about rebuilding a greener and safer Kingston for everyone and our streets play a major role in this vision.
Today we mark a significant milestone with approval granted for our first-ever permanent Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme.
During the trial period we have seen some really encouraging results with clear evidence of a range of improvements in the area, including a significant increase in active travel and traffic reductions on nearly all monitored roads in and around the scheme.
We are delighted that this is becoming a pleasant space, where our residents can walk, cycle and shop locally and feel connected to our community.
But it doesn’t stop here and we want to make sure this scheme is as beneficial as possible for local people. If our residents have any suggestions or ideas for making this scheme more effective please do share them with us via Let’s Talk.
We will also be creating a traffic master plan for the Berrylands area, along with continued monitoring in and around the scheme to ensure all of our residents reap the full benefits of our first permanent LTN.
Alongside LTNs the council continues to invest in school streets and cycle training, along with its award-winning cycle network. It is also introducing more electric vehicle charging points to make it easier for those who need to drive to make the switch to electric vehicles.
Read the full report for King Charles Road.
Residents can continue to share their feedback on the scheme by using the ideas tool on Let’s Talk. This will help the council to continue to respond to any issues and needs identified by residents.
For more information on Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes visit: kingston.gov.uk/lowtrafficneighbourhoods.
To find out more about the council’s sustainable transport initiatives visit: kingston.gov.uk/Sustainabletransport.