Published today is an ambitious government plan to promote active travel – walking and cycling. Included in it is the aim to give communities the say on closing rat runs.

This is what it has to say…

‘There will be less rat-running and many more low-traffic neighbourhoods Residential side streets across the country can be blighted by rat-running. Low-traffic neighbourhoods will be created in many more groups of residential streets by installing point closures – for example, bollards or planters – on some of the roads. It would still be possible to access any road in the area, but motor traffic would not be able to use the roads as through routes. Streets within low traffic neighbourhoods will provide clear, direct routes for cyclists and pedestrians promoting walking and cycling. Accidents, pollution and noise will be dramatically reduced for residents. We will consult on creating a community right to close side streets and create low-traffic neighbourhoods, with groups of residential side streets able to petition local authorities for rat-run closures. Contraflow cycling, where cyclists are allowed to ride against the direction of travel on lightly-trafficked one-way streets, has worked well in both residential and non-residential areas. This should be the default on all quieter one-way streets with certain minor exceptions. Appropriate signage will be required. Contraflow cycling without physical protection will not be appropriate on busier one-way streets.’

Let’s hope the implementation lives up to the ambition of the plan!


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