One year on from the release of the Pave The Way report, Transport for All joins a research team led by Professor Rachel Aldred, Professor of Transport at the University of Westminster, that has been awarded over £1.5 million to fund a study into Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in London.
The research will explore the impact and experiences of living in or near new LTNs in London, with boroughs including Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Newham, and Lambeth.
Using machine learning sensors, Google API data, intercept surveys and a range of qualitative methods, the follow-on study will examine the impacts of LTNs on people who live there, in neighbouring areas and boundary roads. The study will look at whether the LTNs have increased levels of walking and cycling, whether the diversity of people walking and cycling changes, and any impacts they have on road injuries and air pollution. This will be done through a research design that compares changes in and around LTNs with changes in matched ‘control areas’ within the same boroughs. The research will explore local people’s experiences of travelling around the LTNs, including any specific impacts on disabled people’s journeys and how any disbenefits may be mitigated.
The study will be led by the University of Westminster, and involves partners from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Cambridge University, Imperial College London, and the Disabled People’s Organisation Transport for All.
“One year on from our ‘Pave The Way’ report, which found that disabled people hold both positive and negative opinions on LTNs but feel their views have often been ignored, we are delighted to be part of this extensive new research project. We want to ensure that disabled people are central to these discussions, and that the wide range of views that exist across the disabled community are listened to by decision makers, to inform inclusive and accessible solutions.”
Talking about the funding and new research, Professor Aldred said: “It is exciting to be able to study these innovative but under-researched interventions in much more depth than has previously been possible. For instance, we will extend our previous research by examining not just impacts on overall levels of walking and cycling, but also any changes in who walks and cycles, for instance gender balance. This award also means that we can look in detail at local people’s experiences, and how these experiences may change over time. Another focus will be examining changes over time in congestion levels on boundary roads and in the experiences of residents living on boundary roads, areas where more research is needed.”
Professor James Woodcock at the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, who is leading the Health Impact Assessment of the interventions, said: “We look forward to examining the health impacts of changes in physical activity, injuries, and air pollution concentrations. It is important that we are able to measure how these interventions affect health through a range of pathways, including people living or travelling within the LTN as well as potential impacts on nearby boundary roads.”
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