Key statistics supporting the case against LTNS
Islington Council has published reams of statistics to persuade us that LTNs are a good thing which should be extended across most of the borough. Most of this data is biased and much of it is misleading, or based on flawed monitoring processes, or just plain wrong. The PDF Fact Sheet in this section presents objective statistics to support each of the key arguments supporting the case against LTNs. It is based on extensive analysis using reputable sources which are referenced in the text.
Key Statistics Callouts
The rationale for LTNs is fundamentally flawed
LTNs, as their name suggests, were introduced primarily to reduce traffic - we were told that traffic volumes in Islington were far too high and were growing rapidly. But revised DfT data, on which LTN plans were based, now shows clearly that traffic volumes were steadily falling in Islington in the decade before LTN implementation - see chart below. Volumes fell more sharply during Covid, when the LTNs were introduced, but have now bounced back somewhat - but more so in LTNsthan in boroughs which did not go down the LTN route.
Critique of Barnsbury Statistics
Residents who managed to get in to the Barnsbury Partnership meeting at Bridgeman Road on 15 November 2022 (ultimately aborted) were given a Presentation by the Council on why Barnsbury should be turned into a "Liveable Neighbourhood" (actually this turns out to mean extending the Low Traffic Neighbourhood programme into Barnsbury). We have carried out a detailed analysis of this presentation, including various statistics included within it, and you can view the slides in our own presentation below. Following this is a slide from the deck showing our Overall Comments and Conclusions. The bottom line? There is no case for a Barnsbury LN/LTN!
Collated Feedback From Across The Seven Islington LTN Trials
We've now completed a detailed analysis of feedback from residents regarding Islington LTN trials to date. The first PDF below is a summary of the results of this analysis and the second sets out the detail supporting the summary. There are two very important conclusions:
Most feedback was negative; the majority of residents judged the trail LTNs to have been ineffective at best and detrimental at worst across a wide range of criteria.
In sharp contrast, the Council has consistently put a false positive spin on the trial results, which calls into question the integrity and transparency of the Council's consultation process.
Analysis of Interactive Map Comments
As part of the "Liveable Barnsbury" consultation process, Islington Council set up an interactive map online and invited residents to drop "pins" on the map and make comments. The map closed for comments on April 9 2023 but it's still there online and well worth examining - see here. Although, as we've pointed out, this consultation process is seriously flawed it is a great source of information if used with a certain amount of discretion. Our sister group Keep Barnsbury Moving has carried out a detailed analysis of the completed map and its comments which you can read in the PDF below. Here's our main conclusions:
There is no compelling evidence that road closures or filtering are wanted or needed by the majority of residents. Traffic surveillance cameras would be particularly unpopular.
In particular, although a small minority of residents on Offord Road want it to be closed/filtered, a much larger number of residents would be disadvantaged
Liverpool Road is a more complex case and it is clear that many residents are unhappy with it in its current form. The best solution may be to return it to its pre-LTN form, especially if TfL could be persuaded to sort out the universally disliked Highbury Corner scheme.
Although quite a lot of residents would welcome various greening measures such as parklets, an equal number would not. Overall there is no compelling case for such measures on a mass scale as part of an LTN initiative.
Similarly, many relatively simple requests for uncontroversial Council improvements have emerged from this consultation exercise such as less potholes, better pavements, and policing of anti-social cyclist behaviour. These should all be addressed by the Council on a case-by-case basis.
Analysis of NO2 Pollution Levels
It's official! LTNs in Islington have had a negligible effect on pollution levels. Keep Islington Moving has carried out a detailed analysis of Islington Council's NO2 pollution monitoring data and their own conclusions across several reports. So much for a "cleaner healthier borough"! Of course this is not surprising given that LTNs increase journey times overall and divert more traffic to already congested main roads. See our Q&A report below.
St Mary's - Another Failed LTN
Keep Islington Moving has now completed our analysis of the results, published by Islington Council, of its 18 month trial LTN implementation in St Mary's ward. Our conclusion is that the scheme has failed to meet any of its stated objectives. Instead, through the spectacularly ill-advised closure of Cross Street and other key routes, east-west traffic has been diverted causing congestion and dramatically increased pollution at several key spots including Canonbury. This is based on the Council's own monitoring data, which to be fair it has published in full, and it confirms the lived experience of residents as well as tradespeople and small businesses, who, based on our own research are particularly opposed to the changes. In fact the Council's own feedback reveals that a majority of residents did not want the scheme to continue. It is therefore extraordinary that the Council has now decided to make the scheme permanent.
LTN-Related PCN Charges
This section of the website is a work in progress for recording Council Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) payments relating to LTNs. The spreadsheet below records various data, most of it received from the Council as a result of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests - click to download, then select relevant tabs. Other important sources include Tribune articles by Charlotte Chambers in Dec 2022 and Jan 2023 respectively. See also Fact Sheet above and Media Article (Select Car Leasing, London World), both on this website.
Provisional key facts:
Total LTN charges for Islington, excluding School and Parking charges, from the start of the programme (mid-2020) to end November 2022, were £10,821,863, or just under £11 million (Source: Charlotte Chambers Tribune article Dec 2022 and 2nd table in spreadsheet.
Islington charges more for LTN violations than any other borough in the country (Source: Charlotte Chambers Tribune article Jan 2023, based on Churchill data). It also charges the most for Parking, by a wide margin (Source - see Media Article).
The most recent data (Source: Council FOI) covers data from the four month period April 1 2023 to July 31 2023. Total PCN payments in each of three categories are as follows:
LTN-related: £1,211,443 (estimated annual equivalent: £3,634,329)
School-related: £646,235 (estimated annual equivalent: £1,938,705)
Parking-related: £2,648,936 (estimated annual equivalent: £7,946,888)
Total PCN charges: £4,506,614 (estimated annual equivalent: £13,519,842)
Total LTN charges appear to be reducing somewhat, year on year, as to be expected as motorists learn to avoid prohibited spots, but changes at individual spots are very variable from 2021 to 2022, and the total number of PCNs issued actually increased slightly