A quarter of Hackney residents say they’re walking or cycling more following LTNs

A quarter of people in Hackney report walking or cycling more following the introduction of new low traffic neighbourhoods and School Streets, a representative poll of local residents has found. 

Introduced over the past 18 months, the 19 new low traffic neighbourhoods and 40 School Streets are part of the Council’s plans to rebuild a greener Hackney in the aftermath of the pandemic, and encourage people to walk, shop and cycle locally. 

Now, a representative poll of 812 residents, carried out by independent polling organisation, Opinion Research Services, has found that 25% of respondents who knew about nearby LTNs which affect them said that the new schemes have meant they have been encouraged to walk or cycle more, with 30% saying they drive less as a result of the changes. 

The polling shows:

  • 26% of people say they’re walking or running more, 64% say this hasn’t changed, and 9% say they’re walking less. A net 17% of people report walking or running more
  • 24% of people say they’re cycling more, 61% say this hasn’t changed and 15% say they’re cycling less. A net 9% of people report cycling more. 
  • 30% of respondents report that they are encouraged to drive less as a result of these changes, 53% say they drive about the same and 17% say they drive more. A net 13% of people report being encouraged to drive less. This shifts when looking at those who own a car, with 23% of those who own one car saying they are encouraged to drive less, and 21% saying they are encouraged to drive more.

These findings are backed up by monitoring from the following roads in London Fields low traffic neighbourhood, where cycling rates have increased by: 

  • 11% on Richmond Road, west of Queensbridge Road
  • 57% on Richmond Road, east of Queensbridge Road
  • 37% on Middleton Road

Bikes now make up between 31 and 65% of vehicles on these roads. 

The polling also showed significant (66%) support for the aims of the rebuilding a greener Hackney programme – with respondents asked to what extent they agree or disagree with the Council’s ‘stated aim to rebuild a greener Hackney that protects communities from increases in traffic, supports people to make healthier local journeys, prioritises public transport for those who need it, and creates cleaner, greener streets for everyone to enjoy’.

There was a clear majority support for the Council’s 48 School Streets, where traffic is banned outside the school gates at opening and closing times, with 72% wanting at least some School Streets to be made permanent. 

Four fifths (79%) of residents are aware of a low traffic neighbourhood near them which affects them. Of all respondents surveyed, opinion on low traffic neighbourhoods was evenly divided: with 48% wanting at least some to continue and 47% wanting them removed. 

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