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London mayor sets out ambitious plan to persuade Londoners to reduce car use

Sadiq Khan says not having to use a car must be the ‘affordable, safest and most convenient option for Londoners.’

Mayor of London's Transport Strategy is to ditch the car
Mayor of London's Transport Strategy is to ditch the car

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has published his new Transport Strategy, which is now out for public and stakeholder consultation until October 2 2017.


The new strategy aims to reduce London’s dependency on cars – transforming the experience of walking, cycling and public transport in London over the coming decades.


The Mayor will set out a target to increase the proportion of people walking, cycling and taking public transport to 80 per cent of journeys by 2041, compared to 64 per cent now, meaning an average of 3 million fewer car journeys in London each day. This at a time when London’s population is set to expand from 8.7 million to 10.5 million over the next 25 years, generating more than five million additional trips each day across the transport network.


A key focus of the strategy is the Healthy Streets Approach, This is set to create a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city, with Londoners doing at least 20 minutes of active travel each day helping them to stay healthy.


Currently, more than 40 per cent of Londoners do not achieve the recommended 150 minutes of activity a week, and 28 per cent do less than 30 minutes a week. GLA analysis shows that if every Londoner walked or cycled for 20 minutes a day, it would save the NHS £1.7bn in treatment costs over the next 25 years.


In association with Transport for London (TfL) and the boroughs, the Mayor will deliver a London-wide network of cycle routes, with new routes and improved infrastructure to tackle barriers to cycling. The Mayor’s new aim is for 70 per cent of Londoners to live within 400 metres of a high quality, safe cycle route by 2041. TfL will also work to expand and improve ‘Legible London’ pedestrian wayfinding maps, and use new data to develop and improve online journey planning and navigation tools for walking and cycling trips.


In central London, better consolidation, is expected to lead to a 10 per cent reduction in van and lorry use during the morning peak by 2026. The Mayor is set to plan a network of regional consolidation and distribution centres to serve central London and town centres. This is in addition to micro-distribution centres in inner and central London, where deliveries will be made by low and zero emission vehicles, such as electric vans or cargo bikes. TfL is working with Network Rail and the Port of London Authority to move freight off London’s streets and onto the rail network and the River Thames.


The Mayor through TfL and the boroughs is set to put the following in motion:

  • Create high quality public realms across London. This includes creating ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ to improve the public’s experience of walking and cycling, and providing ‘Healthy Routes’ to create attractive, safe and accessible walking routes to schools and local shops. This could include creating more vehicle-free zones, where traffic is physically prevented from using specific streets, and more car-free days.


  • Restrict car parking provision within new developments, with those most accessible to public transport expected to be car free. Secure cycle parking and storage will be expected to be built into all new developments, and where car parking is considered appropriate in new development, provision should be made for electric vehicle charging points.


  • Seek opportunities for densification of developments around public transport stations and stops, with unprecedented investment in improving station environments, interchanges, and local walking and cycling networks. The Mayor and TfL will also support the provision of car clubs for residents, enabling more Londoners to give up their cars.


  • Keep existing and planned road user charging schemes, including the Congestion Charge under review, ensuring they tackle the congestion challenges London faces. Transport for London will explore the next generation of road user charging that could harness new technology to better reflect distance, time, emissions, road danger and other factors in an integrated way. This could include a single ‘per mile’ charge which takes into account both congestion and emissions objectives.


  • Develop local traffic demand management measures, for example exploring local road charging or workplace parking schemes, as part of traffic reduction strategies.


  • Transform the quality of bus services so that they offer a faster, more reliable, and convenient alternative to car use. This includes reviewing and extending the operating times of bus lanes, and making greater provision for bus priority lanes.

As part of the Mayor’s plans, £2.1bn has already been allocated to a new TfL Healthy Streets Portfolio that will focus on creating more welcoming and inclusive streets to enable more Londoners to walk, cycle and use public transport. This includes doubling the average annual spend on cycling announced in the TfL Business Plan, taking London’s cycling spending per head to the same levels as Denmark and the Netherlands.


Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “We have to be ambitious in changing how our city works. While there will be five million additional journeys being made across our transport network by 2041, at the same time we’re setting ourselves a bold target of reducing car journeys by 3 million every day.


He added: “We have to make not using your car the affordable, safest and most convenient option for Londoners going about their daily lives. This is not only essential for dealing with congestion as London grows, but crucial for reducing our toxic air pollution, and improving the health of all Londoners.”


Alex Williams, Director of City Planning for Transport for London, said: “Although real progress has been made, if we are to ensure that London continues to prosper as it grows we now need to do more to support people in switching to active and sustainable transport options. The Mayor’s draft strategy sets out how we can do this, and build a better London less dependent on the car, where air quality and public health is improved, the creation of new homes and jobs is supported and where everyone can travel in a healthy, affordable and accessible way.”



If you liked this, you may wish to view the following:



World first ultra low emission zone proposed for London

The most polluting vehicles will have to pay a daily charge to drive within central London to help combat toxic air



Neighbourhoods of the future announced

Mayor of London and TfL initiatives to tackle capital’s air quality


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