What is an Active Neighbourhood?
An Active Neighbourhood is a place where the movement of people is prioritised over cars. Typically created using planters or bollards to stop through access, it’s simply about creating safe, attractive space for people to spend time chatting or for children to play. The changes also make it easier to get around on foot and by bike. All these things can have dramatic positive effects on air pollution, congestion, residents’ health and wellbeing, and safety on residential streets. This is also about stopping people using residential roads as a cut-through. Residents will still be able to access their homes by car and emergency vehicles will still be able to drive onto the street.
While the active neighbourhood primarily serves the people that live within it, these new cyclable and walkable areas will contribute to the wider Bee Network plans, creating a joined-up cycling and walking network for all residents across the city-region.
Creating streets for living
Listen to David's experiences of living in an Active Neighbourhood in Tameside
We also asked children in one of Greater Manchester’s new Active Neighbourhoods about their experiences walking to school
Hear from Hafsa in Moss Side on why she loves her Active Neighbourhood and the benefits to her family and community.
Myths about Active Neighbourhoods
"Active Neighbourhoods will create more congestion on main roads"
Independent research has shown that Active Neighbourhoods do not tend to cause an increase in traffic on surrounding main roads. This is because drivers adjust their behaviour, such as choosing to cycle or walk shorter journeys when these schemes are introduced, rather than traffic simply shifting from one place to another.
While there may be an initial increase as people adjust in the short term, there is evidence to show that traffic levels on main roads often stay the same or even reduce once the scheme has bedded-in. This has been experienced recently in Hackney and Lambeth where similar low traffic neighbourhoods have been introduced. Traffic levels on main roads will continue to be monitored and residents will be engaged with to understand the impacts and benefits of the scheme.
"Active Neighbourhoods will stop emergency service access"
This is not the case. Emergency vehicles can still access homes and, as stated by law, councils are in conversation with emergency services about all of the proposed schemes. Across Greater Manchester, there has been support from emergency services, not least because the most common reason for delayed responses is congestion caused by motor vehicles, which these schemes aim to reduce.
Would you like to try an Active Neighbourhood on your street?
Community Streets are a way to temporarily turn your street into a safe and vibrant space for everyone to come together, take ownership of the street and make it a pleasant place to be – be it for play, places to sit and relax or to socialise with friends and neighbours.