In partnership with Transport for London, we are trialling something a bit different to try to stop ratrunning, support active travel and improve air quality in the longer term.
Air pollution shortens the lives of Londoners, leading to nearly 10,000 premature deaths each year. On the other hand, walking and cycling (also known as ‘active travel’) helps to improve people’s physical and mental health.
A Brent Healthy Neighbourhood (BHN) is a group of residential streets where vehicle traffic which isn’t local to the area is either discouraged or removed. These areas are also sometimes referred to as 'Low Traffic Neighbourhoods'.
In a BHN, residents are still able to drive onto their street and get deliveries. However, road closures are placed at certain points within neighbourhoods to stop “non-local” traffic (cars, lorries, vans, for example) from passing through the area.
Why do we need Brent Healthy Neighbourhoods?
Our travel habits changed during the pandemic, and so we have unique opportunity to rethink how we get around and to try to improve people’s health and local air quality. Whilst the pandemic is our most pressing concern, the climate emergency has not gone away and we remain committed to policies that move us closer to carbon zero by 2030.
Aims of these schemes include:
- Fewer cars cutting through residential streets
- Healthier travel, encouraging more walking and cycling
- Less traffic in the wider area (this is called ‘traffic evaporation’ and happens as people adjust their travel habits)
- In the longer term, improved air quality for our lungs and our environment
How do they work?
Colourful planters are placed at strategic points to stop traffic from using the residential road as a cut-through. But people who live on that road still have access.
Everyone will be able to walk and cycle through the area and residents can still drive to their home using an altered route. Emergency access is also available.