Active/Low Traffic Neighbourhood

This is simply a neighbourhood where walking and cycling are prioritised over driving. This means people are much more likely not to use a car by default. Although everywhere that was accessible by car still will be.

The idea is to make walking and cycling easier and safer, so that it becomes the natural choice for people to get around their local area.

Using bollards or planters to ‘filter’ traffic on certain routes is one way to do this – for example, allowing cul-de-sac access to some streets for cars but allowing through traffic for people walking and cycling. The idea of ‘filtering’ is to discourage drivers of motor traffic cutting through the area (rat running), while residents would still have access to all homes by car.

For more information on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, read this guide by Living Streets, London Cycling Campaign and Rosehill Highways.

This Twitter thread by Jon Little from Bespoke Transport Consulting describes how the Low Traffic Neighbourhood model can help to manage traffic on the surrounding main road network

Modal Filter

This is one of the ways of creating an active/low traffic neighbourhood. Usually it prevents drivers of motor traffic from travelling through a residential street on a journey. You can still access all the addresses on the street, just not travel all the way through it. They are a good way to stop vehicles from rat running through residential areas.

Modal filters are normally created using bollards, plant pots or any other barriers that stop some vehicles but allow pedestrians or cyclists. It might also be a one-way system or a bus gate. Modal Filters will be designed with the emergency services to make sure everything can be accessed.

Rat Running

Rat running is the term used to describe drivers / motor traffic travelling through residential areas on specific routes. These routes known as rat runs often run parallel to main roads or link to main roads through a residential area. Rat runs are problems for people who live on them or nearby.


This is where parking spaces are given up in a street for a temporary structure creating an outdoor space. They might be used for gardens, play spaces, spaces to hang out or outdoor living rooms. They are a cost-effective way to bring human interaction and beauty back into the streets.

Bike Hangar

A bike hangar is a six-space secure cycle store installed on residential streets. They take up the space of one car. They are accessed by a key and usually require membership.

Bike Port

A bike port is a structure that can be installed into a street that provides cycle parking for a number of bikes (up to 8). Usually taking up a car park space, it provides an attractive and highly visual place to store bikes.

Sheffield Stand

This is the simplest type of bike stand. It is a simple looped steel pole secured into the ground at either end. People keep trying to come up with new designs, but they are often awkward and difficult to use. Simplest is often best and so the Sheffield stand has become shorthand for a good standard design.

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