A Salford resident is angry about the removal of a measure to reduce traffic in Blackfriars. Harry Gray, a spokesperson for Walk Ride Salford Central group, says the council should reinstate a Low Traffic Neighbourhood zone, which is brought in to reduce pollution, encourage road safety and walking.
The LTN system was introduced in May 2020 as part of a programme to deliver the Manchester Bee Network, designed to encourage sustainable transport. An LTN at St Stephen Street was removed in March 2021 after public complaints.
Mr Gray says it should come back: “I think if and when it’s scaled up to a larger extent, naturally more people will learn and understand a Low Traffic Neighbourhood. I think that the council just need to roll them out on a bigger scale.”
The official January 2021, survey from the Department for Transport reveal that only 43% of people in Salford were aware that there was an LTN in their local area. However a staggering 70% of Salford respondents wanted to see more LTNs locations dispersed around the community.
Mr Gray explained the need for LTNs to be permanently implemented within the Salford Community. He said:
“I think removing filters doesn’t really work because the whole point of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods is that it’s a network plan, and it’s the network that matters, not the individual features.
“They are meant to reinstate it on a different side of the road, but it hasn’t been done yet, that might be because of the Chapel Street works but all we want to see is communication from the council.”
Standing in the Stevenson St LTN, Mr Gray reflected on these statistics and remained optimistic that once more are installed, people will begin to see the potential benefits:
“We’re stood in one now and people are sitting down eating their lunch, kids are playing in the playgrounds, people are walking and cycling around freely, it’s just a really nice and relaxing environment.”
Although Low Traffic Neighbourhoods have caused controversy by pushing cars out of side streets and back onto main roads, they have created safe and active spaces for communities across the country.
Salford residents and commuters have already started to make an impact with the city having the third highest cycling levels in Greater Manchester.
Salford has the 3rd highest cycling levels in Greater Manchester, with more people cycling once a day than in Manchester!
These statistics show that the LTN measures implemented last year are helping to get more people cycling!
— Walk Ride Salford Central (@WRSalford) October 1, 2021
Despite the St Stephen Street LTN removal causing hesitancy, Mr Gray believes that once Salford City Council get on track and begin to implement the next round of LTNs, the city can take another monumental green footstep.
Mr Gray said: “What’s great is that they’ve done this trial and they’re going to create a permanent scheme in the next couple of years.
“The consultations already happened, it’s just about delivery really, the gears need to get churning on a quicker scale.”