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Talks

What’s happening with Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in Newcastle?

Thursday 18 April18.00–19.30

Over the last 18 months low traffic neighbourhoods have been installed and then ripped out in Fenham, Jesmond and now Heaton. In this specially organised City Forum we ask why is this happening and what is the future for low traffic neighbourhoods in Newcastle?

Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are defined by the government as “An area-wide traffic management scheme aimed at reducing or removing through traffic from residential areas, put in place using traffic signed restrictions or physical measures such as planters or bollards.” The intention behind them is to reduce pollution and potentially dangerous road traffic in residential areas, and thereby improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life for residents.

Any changes to local areas – especially those related to traffic – are inevitably controversial with strongly held views on both sides. With regards LTNs, these include access to properties for residents and emergency services, the shifting of traffic onto other roads and into other areas, air quality, the individual and societal benefits of promoting cycling and walking and how to balance the needs of residents and necessary through traffic.

However, setting aside these arguments for and against for one minute, in a time of very limited financial resources for local government, it might reasonably be asked whether it’s simply wasteful and indicative of a lack of long term thinking to be installing and then deinstalling low traffic neighbourhoods over such a short period of time. No LTN scheme will ever be perfect, but an ‘all or nothing’ approach and seeming lack of willingness to improve schemes risks making LTNs even more politically contentious.

This specially convened City Forum is an opportunity for local people to come together and discuss the future of LTNs in Newcastle.

  • To kick off the discussion, we are inviting representatives of Newcastle City Council to come and talk about LTN policy, how it has been enacted and what happens next.
  • Following speakers will explore the role of LTNs in 21st-century: their histories, roles, challenges and possibilities. As well as focusing on the situation in Newcastle, we will also look to other towns and cities where LTNs have been installed and what lessons can be learnt from them in terms of design and community involvement.
  • Rather than putting forward views for and against LTNs generally or specifically, we intend the discussion to focus on how we can come together as a community to create places that are more sustainable and more inclusive – and the present and future role of LTNs in achieving this.

 

Photo: The intersection of Heaton Park Road and Heaton Park View where the bollards are due to be removed and the latter reopened to through traffic.

Date
Thursday 18 April

Time
18.00–19.30

Location

Please note change of venue:

Fine Art Lecture Theatre
King Edward VII Building
Newcastle University
NE1 7RU

Entrance is 20m from the Farrell Centre and will be signposted.

Cost
Free

Booking Information
Booking is required