Reducing through-traffic on Estreham Road with community support

Sustrans trials a road closure in Lambeth

Our in-depth community engagement work helped LB of Lambeth to reduce through traffic on Estreham Road

27 June 2018

Estreham Road is now a quiet residential street, but that wasn’t always the case.

Between October 2016 and March 2017, we helped the London Borough of Lambeth to engage the local community to trial a scheme they hoped would significantly reduce through-traffic on a residential road in Streatham. Dangerous levels of congestion were putting school children and other road users at risk every time they used the street.

Estreham Road forms part of Quietway 5 from Waterloo to Norbury. The funding from the Quietways programme provided the unique opportunity for people around Estreham Road to benefit from Transport for London investment.

Quietways are a network of high quality, well-signed cycle routes throughout London, mostly using quieter backstreets, parks and waterways. They link key destinations and will appeal to people who want to use quieter, low-traffic routes for walking and cycling. Quietways work with, and complement other initiatives in London to help people get about under their own steam, such as the Cycle Superhighways.

Very high numbers of (non-residential) vehicles passed through each day, using the road to avoid a traffic signal at the junction of Greyhound Lane and Streatham High Road.

First Sustrans worked with the borough and local residents between June and December 2015 to identify existing transport problems and develop solutions that could enhance the area for those who lived on Estreham Road, as well as improving safety for more vulnerable road users, particularly people walking and cycling.

Three design proposals were developed, and feedback was sought from residents through online and postal surveys and public drop-in sessions. The preferred design option, a northbound no entry point at the southern end of Estreham Road, was taken to public consultation in February 2016. After receiving 56% support at the consultation (compared to 37% who did not support the proposals), Lambeth took the decision to trial the proposal for six months.

A temporary trial provided the opportunity to understand how the changes would work in practice, and the impact on neighbourhood and local traffic flows. Lambeth monitored traffic throughout the trial before making the decision on the next steps. The successful trial took place between October 2016 and April 2017. 

The trial was game changing for residents. Their support for the scheme rose from 40% to 60% as a result of the community engagement work and trial. Air quality improved as nitrogen dioxide levels fell. The number of vehicles using the road reduced by over 75%, falling from over 1,600 a day to under 400. There has been some displacement of traffic onto neighbouring Pathfield Road. Lambeth Council is working on a scheme, due to be built in summer 2019, to mitigate this.

Now people enjoy a more healthy and liveable Estreham Road, which also forms part of a great section of Quietway 5. By reducing the amount of motor traffic using Estreham Road, Lambeth has created a street environment which prioritises people over vehicles, making it a more pleasant place for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Our success in Lambeth is just the start of how we will work with boroughs and communities to create healthier streets and liveable neighbourhoods.

Kevin Potter, Managing Director, Cavendish Nursery School told us:

"At first we thought the closure would be a nightmare, but I have to say, it's been just the opposite. The whole area is so much more peaceful, safe and pleasant. Our cars now stay at home and our children are getting fitter by cycling to school.

Months down the line, the Estreham Road Closure is continuing to make the area a much nicer place to be".

Find out more about our work in London on liveable neighbourhoods

Find out more about Esteham Road at Lambeth Council's website