Oxfordshire Liveable Streets hosted a forum on the business impacts associated with low-traffic neighbourhoods.
What impact will Low Traffic Neighbourhoods have on your business?
You can now see the business forum online here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/businesses-and-low
Here are some of the testimonials read out during the session. These businesses are located on the Francis Road or Orford Road in Waltham Forest.
Fraser McLelland, Froth and Rind:
Traffic reduction measures have had a huge positive impact on our business, allowing Orford Road to become a safe destination for families out for a meal, friends meeting for a coffee, shoppers and more. With more space for outside seating, the summer months have a continental feel with lots of people dining outside or stocking up on provisions.
Eliza Parkes, Yardarm:
We opening our business in 2015 on a busy road. Very often we had cars and vans parked outside.On the upside was that people could drive to collect orders and deliveries were easy. (This is actually still the case and we are also improving our own delivery service)
When the plans were announced we were happy. Dans family have a business on Orford Rd in Walthamstow and had benefited from the scheme. We had seen the problems there too but each time they repeat the scheme they seem to be ironing out the kinks (mainly about redirecting traffic)
We have found it positive. At weekends families take over the road and it’s easy and safe to spend longer hanging out and shopping. We have been busier. It’s also great for events and we think there is a stronger sense of community once everyone is used to it. Deliveries haven’t been a problem (but ask them to make provision in the plans. This has been the hardest part for us with lots of big deliveries to our wine shop and deli.)
As parents, business owners and residents on the road, it’s life changing. The air is cleaner and it feels so much safer. GO FOR IT.
Aimée Madill, Phlox Books
Pedestrianisation has been overwhelmingly beneficial to my business personally, and I believe the general feeling of community and unity in our diverse neighbourhood. People, both immediately local and from further away, view it as a one stop ‘destination’ and are often seen pottering from shop to shop. With its relaxed, car-free atmosphere it encourages them to stop to eat and drink, and creates a street that is not only a destination for relaxation but becomes their first thought when they need to purchase specific items.
Concerns and complaints that it would ‘kill off’ shops that relied on passing trade and had items that needed to be transported by car were soon shown to be unfounded as the street is busier as a pleasant ‘destination’ than it ever was as a through road and the reality is that few had items large enough to need transport/could become innovative with local eco-friendly delivery services on the few occasions that they were.
Helen Clarke, Edie Rose
Since the pedestrianisation of Francis Road we are able to present our business outside the shop as well as in. Before, the parked cars (always the same parked cars) came right up to our outside space and we couldn’t put anything outside as it would be blocking the pavement. Cars would speed past at high speed and the road was used was a little bit of a rabbit run to cut out the main road.
Francis Road is now a community hub with seating and places to relax. Cafes and shops have seating outside and children play on the street. If feels safe and calm. Pollution is low and our business has been affected positively in terms of sales/revenue because customers spend more time on the road.
We use our cargo bike for local deliveries and use the loading bays and 2 hour parking slots for when we need to accept bigger deliveries. It really does work.