Liveable neighbourhoods

Liveable Neighbourhoods is an approach to managing traffic in a neighbourhood area, and in doing so to encourage walking and cycling. It makes the area more welcoming for walking and facilitating social space, makes it more age- and child-friendly, reduces carbon emissions and improves air quality.

Also known as “Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods”, certain roads are blocked for motor vehicles, stopping rat-runs whilst allowing passage to anyone on foot or on bike. Access by motor vehicle is not prevented, only through-routes are closed. The area is typically bounded by larger roads that take through motor traffic, and access into the area is allowed with return by the same route.

Continuous footways may be introduced across the entrance to side roads off the boundary roads.

The environment on neighbourhood streets is enhanced by pedestrianisation of neighbourhood shopping streets, and street additions such as trees, plants, pocket parks and benches.

The approach has been pioneered in London, and cities like Manchester and Birmingham are adopting similar approaches. The best-known example is Waltham Forest – see this video <>.

In Bristol in 2020, BWA has joined with other like-minded organisations to campaign for Liveable Neighbourhoods across Bristol. The Council plans two pilot Liveable Neighbourhoods by 2024, but the push is for a more rapid roll-out.

Post-COVID social distancing makes public transport more difficult and may see a rise in car use. It is even more important to encourage walking and cycling, and even more important to introduce Liveable Neighbourhoods.