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Easy ways to reduce traffic in your street

Your road doesn’t have to be suitable to be a ‘full’ DIY Street in order to reduce its traffic volumes. There are plenty of simple changes you can consider and many don’t require lots of research and planning. If your street isn’t physically suitable for the introduction of major DIY Street features (perhaps it’s too narrow or it’s a major through route), if residents don’t have much time or the resources are limited, there are still lots of things you can do to reduce the impact of traffic.

Traffic speeds and volumes

If you want to reduce traffic speeds, and possibly traffic volumes, you could lobby your councillors to:

  • introduce measures to slow the traffic e.g. a 20 mph speed limit. For more information about the national 20 mph campaign look at the 20s plenty for us website;
  • introduce pedestrian crossings or cycle lanes, or simply improve the pavements to make your streets safer for walkers and cyclists. Have a look at the Living Streets website for inspiration;
  • English Heritage also run a Save our streets campaign. Find out how to carry out a street audit, improve street design and give your street a makeover.

Reforming the residents

Try to encourage residents to rely less on their cars:

  • ask local schools and large employers in the area if they have Travel Plans which encourage children and staff to walk and cycle, rather than being driven or driving to their school or job;
  • encourage your neighbours to think about cycling, walking and using public transport. Get some advice about why it’s good to walk from Living Streets. Your local council may also have a cycling officer who may be able to arrange some bike training and cycling events in your area.

Parked cars

Large numbers of parked cars are not friendly to pedestrians, especially if they park on, and block, pavements. If the parked cars belong to commuters or long-term visitors ask your local council to consider implementing a Resident Only Parking Zone (RPZ). Residents may have to pay a small annual fee for this - or a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) that limits the times and places people can park.

If most of the parked cars belong to residents, look at the information above on ways to encourage people to walk and cycle to reduce their need for a car.

Another effective way to reduce the cars belonging to residents, especially for households with more than one car, is to look into a car club and a dedicated parking space for it in your street or very close by. Once you join a car club you can very easily rent the car by the hour or day for a very reasonable cost. For irregular but fairly frequent use it is much cheaper than owning your own car since all tax and maintenance is done for you by the organisation.


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