Low-traffic schemes benefit everyone, not just better-off, finds study

(The Guardian, 16 Nov 2020) Exclusive: authors find ‘no clear social equity problem related to low-traffic neighbourhoods’ after studying slew of projects sparked by Covid restrictions.

There is no evidence schemes that try to limit “rat-running” traffic along residential streets disproportionately benefit better-off households, research has concluded, contradicting a common view cited by objectors.

A study of low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), which have mushroomed as part of efforts to boost walking and cycling amid coronavirus, found that the vast majority of people lived on streets that could be part of such schemes.

There was minimal difference on the likelihood of this for households on lower incomes, people from minority ethnic groups, or those with disabilities, said the report, which found “no clear social equity problem related to LTNs”.