Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: Campaigners Guide

10. Encourage local people to look after the LTN

Encouraging a local sense of ownership and responsibility for LTN infrastructure maintains positivity, and can counteract any headline-grabbing acts of vandalism by demonstrating residents’ support.

How we did it in Oxford

In March 2021 the three Cowley LTNs were created, with wooden planters acting as modal filters to prevent through-traffic while allowing people through. The Council encouraged local people to look after the plants in the wooden boxes. The sense of local ownership has continued, which means it is more likely that people will report any problems. Some of the smaller planters were moved within days and had to be bolted down. Since that minor intervention, the planters have remained in place.

Recruiting gardeners
Local members organised for each planter to be gardened by someone living on that street. 2021-ongoing.
Reporting problems
Residents felt ownership, reporting issues quickly when vandalism occurred.
Celebrating community involvement
Residents repairing damage became a good news story. June 2021.

CoHSAT members were involved in recruiting and organising local residents to take on ‘gardening’ of the planters. One member who was involved commented, “There were so many enthusiastic gardeners who really wanted to take them on. Third party maintenance would only come once a year”. When vandalism did occur, residents were ready with repair and messages of support which became a good news story. In one case, the theft of garden gnomes became a running joke and much-needed source of humour – thanks to strong involvement by local residents.

Repaired planter 2021
Salegate Filter Rip Pc Plod Cropped