Low Traffic Neighbourhoods: Campaigners Guide
Key learning points
6. Inform local residents
Public meetings, flyers and stalls are vital for sharing accurate information about LTNs with residents. Public opinion is very important, as very few Councillors will agree to changes to the streets without widespread support for the measures.
Meetings and events can help identify more supporters to join the campaign. Be as loud and visible as possible – let everyone know of public meetings and discussions with affected groups. However, be aware that no matter how much you publicise and consult, some people will allege that schemes were rushed through in secret.
How we did it in Oxford
In Oxford, pro-LTN campaigners kept residents informed in a variety of ways, holding numerous events including talks, stalls, a photoshoot and exhibition – alongside printing and delivering flyers to local households.
On 2 Oct 2018 Government transport adviser Andrew Gilligan headlined a Town Hall meeting organised by Low Carbon Oxford North (LCON), following publication of the “Running out of Road” report in July 2018. The report made recommendations for improving provision for cyclists in Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes. A coalition of active travel groups was mooted in the context of this event, initiated by LCON, leading to the formation of CoHSAT.
On 25 April 2019 a meeting for supporters of making Florence Park the UK’s first Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) outside of Waltham Forest was held. Patrick Lingwood, the County’s Active and Healthy Travel Officer, joined East Oxford residents who supported this idea.
On 7 May 2019 a public meeting at the Florence Park Community Centre discussed the two rat-runs in the estate, their junction at Littlehay Road and Rymers Lane, the school-run and other issues around the Florence Park estate’s “liveability”. The public were invited to pitch their ideas for improvements, and LTN was one of these.
In June 2020 leaflets were distributed and online meetings organised to raise awareness of the three Cowley LTNs, following the 27 May 2020 announcement of Government funding
On 4 July 2020 a group photo was organised to show support for Cowley LTNs, and the Liveable Cowley group was established. They are Cowley residents who want everyone to have the opportunity to walk, cycle, scoot, wheelchair or use public transport as needed, whilst ensuring that those who do need to travel by car can do so with minimal impact on the community.
Also that month, Liveable Cowley organised stalls outside two local venues to provide information and raise awareness of the LTNs.
On 26 July 2020 CoHSAT opened a pop-up shop for one week in an empty shop in Oxford City Centre, which included images of LTNs as part of an exhibition of active and healthy travel. The aim was to spark discussion for a re-imagined Oxford, sharing ideas for better public realm, more cycling provision and pedestrianisation. More specifically, we wanted to see an ambitious approach to tackling congestion and improving public transport and walking and cycling in Oxford.
The popup shop was a great success. There were about 360 visitors overall, including several councillors, plus masses of feedback and approximately 60 postcards with written support to send directly to councillors. Plus lots of activity on social media and featured in local newspapers, radio stations and TV news.