Traffic Reductions in Outer London's 'Mini-Hollands' Curtail Vehicle Ownership

An analysis of areas designated as "low traffic neighborhoods" shows a decrease in vehicle ownership rates, a promising sign for the traffic-choked metropolis.

1 minute read

December 17, 2020, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Tin Pan Alley in London

David Dixon / Denmark Street in 2010

Inspired by the Netherlands' famously bike-friendly urban infrastructure, London's Mini-Hollands program funded Dutch-style improvements in three outer London boroughs. With London consistently ranking in the top ten most congested cities in the world, city leaders hope to emulate their continental neighbors and reduce the need for private cars in and around the city.

The program introduces traffic calming interventions, sometimes removing vehicle traffic from neighborhoods altogether. It also promotes improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that encourages active transportation and keeps residents safe. The goal of the initiative is to encourage a shift from cars to bikes for short trips and reduce vehicle travel within neighborhoods.

A recent analysis of vehicle registration data examined whether the interventions had a measurable effect on vehicle ownership in London's outer boroughs. The findings show that car ownership fell at much higher rates in the areas designated as "low traffic neighborhoods" or LTNs, with vehicle ownership continuing to decline as the program went on. Other active transportation improvements had a smaller effect on vehicle ownership, but areas that received them still reduced their car ownership at higher-than-average rates. The study's conclusions indicate that LTN interventions contribute significantly to a mode shift away from private cars.

Thursday, December 10, 2020 in Findings

Rendering of electric scooters, electric cars, light rail train, and apartments in background.

Arizona’s ‘Car-Free’ Community Takes Shape

Culdesac Tempe has been welcoming residents since last year.

February 14, 2024 - The Cool Down

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

"It's The Climate" sign over street in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Oregon Town Seeks Funding for Ambitious Resilience Plan

Like other rural communities, Grants Pass is eager to access federal funding aimed at sustainability initiatives, but faces challenges when it comes to meeting grant requirements.

February 18, 2024 - The Daily Yonder

Close-up of bottom half of stroller being pushed onto sidewalk with no curb cut by person in jeans and brown shoes.

How Infrastructure Communicates Values

The presence and quality of sidewalks, curb cuts, and other basic elements of infrastructure can speak to much more than just economic decisions.

February 23 - Strong Towns

Greyhound and Amtrak buses at a temporary bus terminal in San Francisco, California.

Despite High Ridership, Intercity Bus Lines Are Eliminating Stations

Riders on the ‘forgotten stepchild’ of the U.S. transportation system find themselves waiting for buses curbside as Greyhound sells off its real estate in many U.S. cities.

February 23 - Governing

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo Residents Push Back on Proposed Cap Park

State and local officials say the $1 billion project will heal neighborhoods divided by the Kensington Expressway, but community members say the proposed plan will exacerbate already poor air quality in the area.

February 23 - Bloomberg CityLab

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.