Guy’s and St Thomas’ charity will fund new LTNs over health benefits

Josh Salisbury (18 November, 2020)

All three are centred around schools

40559An LTN filter

Guy’s and St Thomas’ charitable arm will fund three LTNs in Southwark because of the health benefits they bring.

Each of the three low-traffic neigbourhoods, yet to be formally approved by the council, are surrounding schools, and have the aim of encouraging more school students to walk and cycle.

One is located around Harris Primary Academy in Peckham, another in Brunswick Park in Camberwell Green and the third around Ark Walworth Academy.

A briefing, prepared for councillors at the Environment Scrutiny Commission, earlier this month states: “The areas are all centred on schools with high levels of child obesity and the links between them and the council housing estates in the catchment area.

“The aim is to reduce traffic on the most used routes to and from the schools, thereby reducing road traffic emissions and improving safety to encourage walking and cycling.”

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity will fund £200,000 towards the low-traffic neighbourhoods, and a further £50,000 to monitor the impacts they have on road use.

The areas were picked because they have high levels of deprivation and childhood obesity, according to the charity’s Lucy Saunders.

“We were looking for areas in the borough that have high levels of child obesity, poor air quality especially around schools, high levels of social housing and deprivation, higher proportions of the population identifying as being of black ethnicity and local schools and parks,” she said.

The locations were also chosen because their communities may not previously have had investment to have traffic lessened.

“We very much focussed on areas where we felt had greatest need, and where we could have greatest impact.”

Included in the measures would be filters, temporary pavement widening, improved cycling access and removal of parking spaces, according to documents shown to councillors.

The move has been welcomed by Southwark Cyclists, which is encouraging its members to lobby the council to formally roll out the changes.

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