NURSES and doctors are claiming that a new traffic calming scheme has a host of health benefits - both physical and mental.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) were rolled out across parts of Cowley and Florence Park earlier this year as part of a six-month trial by Oxfordshire County Council.

Since its introduction, locals have been divided over whether the new traffic system is having a positive or negative impact on the local community.

Healthcare workers in the area, however, have now come forward in support of the scheme, stating that LTNs have multiple health benefits, both physically and mentally.

Read also: Cowley LTNs didn't kill man, says ambulance service

Eleanor Greenhalgh, who is a mental health worker living in Cowley, said: “Poor physical and mental health are the tip of an iceberg which starts with unhealthy environments.

“Physical activity and connecting with others improve mental health, but dangerous, polluted streets which prioritise motor traffic can make that difficult to do.

“LTNs are giving back space to local people for social connection and physical activity - so important in tackling the causes of mental ill-health and supporting recovery.”

Other healthcare professionals echoed the benefits of the scheme.

Dr Eleanor Vogel, who is a GP living in Florence Park, claims ‘LTNs are public health policies in action’.

She added: “Air pollution in Oxfordshire causes more harm than passive smoking, and is linked to asthma, heart disease and stroke, while exposure to high levels of traffic related pollutants in childhood is also associated with poorer mental health later in life."

James Harper, a GP living in Iffley, also said those living in an LTN area will reap the health benefits.

Read here: Oxford LTNs: Everything that has happened so far

He said: “As a GP I’ve seen how important regular physical activity is for maintaining good mental health so getting people out of their cars and walking or cycling can only be a good thing.

"The LTN has the added benefit of improving air quality, meaning these spaces are not only safer, but they are cleaner and healthier too.”

Other healthcare professionals also highlighted other benefits, such as fewer accidents and fatalities from road traffic accidents.

Nadia Correia, a pediatric intensive care nurse from Florence Park, said: “I want to be part of a more healthy and safe community.

“LTNs will make our roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists - reducing the number of road traffic accidents which can be devastating for children and families.”

The LTN six-month trial in Church Cowley, Temple Cowley and Florence Park is set to end in September, however, the council may decide to extend pilot period for another year. You can add your views on the traffic scheme by visiting