Mike was awarded a FIT fellowship in 2020 to conduct an analysis of the discourse that has emerged in response to trial Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods in collaboration with senior fellow Professor Phil Goodwin.
Exploring the themes that have emerged in the lively public discourse regarding Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods, this work will explore what recent experiences suggest regarding the public acceptance of these schemes, as well as the current appetite for road space reallocation and car restraint in British cities more widely.
Much has been made elsewhere of the local controversy schemes have generated, including the emergence of new groups in protest against these measures and the political pressure faced by councils defending what has been a relatively unfamiliar approach to traffic management in the (recent) British context.
As well as examining the arguments used, this work will look at the differences as well as the commonalities behind specific schemes, to try to highlight where issues around implementation appear to have contributed or ameliorated local controversy.
It will also highlight other possible lessons learned from 2020, which saw an unprecedented rush of these schemes emerge in constrained circumstances, as part of a wider transport response to the pandemic. It is of interest the extent to which genuine issues have been raised, particularly in response to trial schemes, and how this could inform practice in future. This will hopefully include some recommendations relevant to the planning, implementation and communication of non-emergency LTNs.
Beyond this, it may be of use to have brought together and organised a range of evidence, argument and precedent used in the sometimes-chaotic discourse around LTNs, towards providing more clarity on the challenges associated with schemes which attempt to tackle traffic at the neighbourhood scale.
Mike has a background as a campaigner for everyday cycling, having been an active member of London Cycling Campaign for a number of years, looking to work constructively towards mainstreaming utility cycling in Britain. He is particularly interested in the design and management of urban streets and the challenges inherent in resolving the competing demands placed upon them.
Mike completed an MSc in Transport Planning at Westminster University, where his dissertation explored the range of disciplinary perspectives brought to bear upon the redesign of urban mixed-use streets, using an interview-based method.
A board member at Phoenix Community Housing in South Lewisham, he also has an interest in the relationship between housing policy and transport, as well as the common challenges of decarbonisation across sectors and how they interrelate.