Bicycle theft soared in one of London’s experimental green road zones

The North London borough was one of the first in the capital to create a prototype low traffic neighbourhood by introducing road closures and new cycle lanes to promote cycling and walking.

In total, seven LTNs were introduced between September 2015 and December 2019, covering 55,994 residents (one-fifth of the borough) living in the zones.

Roger Geffen, policy director for Cycling UK, the UK’s largest bicycle charity, commented on the paper’s findings: “If you get a local hotspot where there’s suddenly a whole load of bikes parked on railings outside homes, a criminal gang is going to spot an opportunity.”

Drop in crime overall

“Also, if the cycle lockers out on the street are a security risk then something needs to be done about that, even if it’s as simple as making sure they are covered by CCTV.”

Although bicycle thefts rose, there was an 18 per cent decrease in total street crime three years after the LTNs were introduced, the paper found.

Violence and sexual offences and public order and possession of weapons crimes saw the sharpest decline.

Dr Anna Goodman, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and co-author of the study, said the findings add “evidence that LTNs can create safer, more liveable neighbourhoods”.

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