The future of Kingston Town’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) schemes
Following the council’s recent decision to make the trial scheme on King Charles Road in Surbiton permanent, the next steps for the Kingston Town schemes have now been agreed.
This week (Tuesday 27 July), the Kingston Town Neighbourhood Committee decided to extend the Albert Road trial and to defer a decision on the Lower Ham Road scheme subject to putting in place additional signs and exploring the best ways of closing the road.
In response to residents’ concerns about how traffic levels in surrounding roads may be affected by the LTN, the committee voted to extend the trial of the Albert Road scheme by a further five months. During this time additional monitoring and rigorous assessments will be undertaken to help address issues identified in the local area.
Both schemes will return to the Kingston Town Neighbourhood Committee later in the year, when a final decision will be taken on whether these schemes will be removed or made permanent.
Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes are areas that are closed off to through-traffic, preventing drivers from using residential roads as shortcuts. They make it safer and easier for people to walk and cycle, and also help to improve air quality over time.
Since their introduction in September 2020 nearly 150 residents from within the LTN areas have shared their views on the schemes and opinion has been broadly split on both.
For the Lower Ham Road LTN 53% of local residents are in favour of making the scheme permanent with 43% opposed. And 46% of local people would like to see the Albert Road scheme become a permanent fixture, with 47% against this idea.
Councillor Stephanie Archer, Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Sustainable Transport at Kingston Council said:
We are committed to tackling climate change, improving air quality and enabling our residents and visitors to use alternative and more sustainable ways of travelling around the borough.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods help provide quieter, safer and healthier streets and are key to encouraging more people to take short journeys on foot or by bike.
During the trial period, the Lower Ham Road scheme has had a notable positive impact on the local area with strong support from residents and encouraging reductions in traffic on nearly all monitored roads in and around the scheme. However, we have recorded a slight increase in traffic on Richmond Road.
We have also seen some positive traffic reductions in the Albert Road area but are aware of increases in traffic on Hawks Road (eastbound) and Cambridge Road.
We want to ensure that these schemes are as effective as possible for everyone in the local community and have therefore decided to keep the measures in place for a few more months. This will allow us to continue gathering and analysing traffic and air quality data in both areas.
During this time we will also be introducing additional signs and evaluating the most suitable mechanism for the road closure at the Lower Ham Road LTN, as well as looking at alternative traffic solutions to help address the issues identified in Albert Road and at the junction of Hawks Road and Cambridge Road.
We welcome any suggestions or ideas local people may have on how to make these schemes more beneficial for everyone. Please share your thoughts with us via Let’s Talk.
Read the full reports for Lower Ham Road and Albert 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.
Alongside LTNs, the council continues to invest in school streets and cycle training, along with its award-winning cycling 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.
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.