Emerging Project

Walking & Cycling Quiet Routes

Idea: Create quieter routes that prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, making it safer and healthier

The Barnet Draft Long-Term Transport Strategy identifies residential areas in proximity to Chipping Barnet for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. It highlights the numerous schools that would benefit from healthier routes, along with the potential for better cycle connections along the A1000 and a local cycle network around the station.

These quieter routes would create safer and more enjoyable movement for pedestrians and cyclists, improving the ability to walk and cycle to, and around, the town centre. The areas around schools should be safer with cleaner air – one method of achieving healthier routes is School Streets, which involve closing residential streets adjacent to the schools to through-traffic during pick-up and drop-off times.

In the longer term, streets could be improved through various measures, including a mix of footpath widening, greening, safer crossings, improved cycle infrastructure, and relocating parking. Some roads should also consider traffic calming measures to reduce vehicular movement and prevent rat-running through the residential streets around the town centre. Restricting road access in this way can build a series of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs).

These walking and cycling routes should link up the high street, station, hospital, schools/college, green spaces and key local attractions. Better wayfinding, signage, better lighting and cycle parking, would improve safety and security. A group of residents have already started to map potential locations for LTNs and School Streets.

Why it is useful:

  • Improve pedestrian and cyclist road safety
  • Reduces the impact of private vehicles on the local environment including congestion and poor air quality
  • Supports and encourages healthier lifestyles

Who needs to be involved:

  • Council: Project Commissioner / Funder
  • Council Highways Team: Delivery
  • Town Team, Green Beings, Barnet Cyclists: Champion
  • Transport for London: Stakeholder
  • Council Parks and Green Spaces Team: Stakeholder
  • Schools, colleges, hospital and other key local stakeholders/destinations
  • Designers / consultant

How to get started:

Short-term

  • Undertake a multi-modal and ‘healthy streets’ assessment of streets and spaces that could be improved
  • Undertake parking usage and high-mast camera surveys to record behaviour, identify issues and opportunities for change within key areas that could be improved
  • Undertake local school travel surveys to better understand existing travel behaviours and appetite to change
  • Host ‘walk to your town centre’ days

Medium term

  • Identify trial locations including potential school low emission zones, road closures, school streets and play streets
  • Undertake trial measures, and work with schools to help educate and encourage the take up of more sustainable and active forms of travel
  • Ensure, where possible, schools and nurseries sign up to the TfL STARS accreditation scheme.

Longer Term

  • Identify and implement improvements along key routes (e.g. A1000) including junctions, crossings, footways, cycle routes, lighting, seating, planting and signage, as well as any more permanent road closures, filter schemes and local low emission school zones
  • Transform roads/spaces outside schools (and other attractors) so that only pedestrians and cyclists can use them at school start and finish times

Viability considerations:

  • Funding potential: Could be sourced through GLA and/or TfL funding bids or grants, such as TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods funding scheme
  • Location: Trial a school street, e.g. St Catherine’s Primary School
  • Resource: Requires council resourcing

Example: School Streets

The streets around a school temporarily become pedestrian and cycle only at set times in the morning and afternoon. Vehicles are not permitted to enter the street between these times unless they have been granted an exemption. You can register for an exemption if you’re a resident living or working in a school street zone, a business in a school street zone, or a blue badge holder. Non-registered vehicles entering the street during the times of operation will be identified by camera and issued a fixed penalty notice.

Example: Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

In the Walthamstow Village area a network of active travel zones was created, where walking and cycling was more pleasant and convenient than travelling by car. For example, moveable barriers were placed on entrances to residential roads, allowing residents, emergency vehicles and registered delivery vehicles access, but blocking rat-running by forcing other traffic onto arterial roads. The impacts of the proposal included an increase in active travel, a decline in congestion and in the number of cars, improved air quality,and widespread support from residents and visitors.

Waltham Forest previously had very low levels of walking and cycling, residents are now walking for an extra 32 minutes and cycling for an extra 9 minutes per week than the Outer London average. A simultaneous decline in road traffic, which decreased by 44% on average for roads within the area, resulted in improved air quality. Despite initial controversy and resistance, only 1.7% of residents would scrap the proposal and go back to how it was before, whereas 55% of residents would not change anything. 100% of visitors to the area said the proposal was either good or very good.