Many of us find the idea of cycling, or even walking our kids to school is a fume-filled, uncomfortable, unsafe experience. We get in our cars and join the traffic, often failing to recognise the irony that we are the traffic.

We can change this by asking our local councils to implement Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. These are places where cars no longer dominate, and children can play outside safely. Promised in the Green Party, Labour (Healthy Streets), and Conservative Manifestos, and the Lib Dems in local manifestos, they simply prevent cars from using residential streets as convenient through-cuts. They create Liveable Humane Neighbourhoods.

Introduced in Waltham Forest, London, under the ‘mini-Holland’ scheme, people are walking and cycling more, are healthier, and are more sociable. One person said they could hear the birds singing for the first time in years.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods use modal filters (bollards), bus gates, community-owned pocket parks, tree planting, blended crossings, and school streets to make it hard or impossible to drive your car through them, while maintaining access for local residents. They enable kids to independently scoot and cycle to school.

Working with your local community groups and local councillors, you can help design and implement a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in your area. They are very cheap, and utterly transformative. If you want to act locally but think globally, they are are probably the biggest local change you can make.

For a crib sheet on how to take action visit:


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