London boroughs must act now to reduce emissions from transport. Here’s how.

Flickr.GarryKnightMore than 20 of London’s 32 boroughs have announced a climate emergency, with many setting 2030 as a target date to achieve net zero carbon emissions. But with transport accounting for a third of UK’s carbon dioxide emissions (the large majority from road transport) and falling at a much slower rate than other sectors, councils must take bolder action on transport to meet these targets.

London Living Streets proposes a range of policies and initiatives that London boroughs can implement right now, not only to reduce GHG emissions but also to address issues around public health, air pollution, road casualties and social inequality.

The policies, summarised below, have already been adopted by other major cities worldwide or local authorities either in London or elsewhere in the UK. A more detailed breakdown of these, with examples and background on why transport matters, can be downloaded here.

Reduce the impact of traffic

  • Create low-traffic neighbourhoods to remove through traffic in residential areas and encourage walking and cycling
  • Progressively remove private motor vehicles from streets, for example by pedestrianising areas where there are lots of people on foot
  • Implement school streets/traffic exclusion zones around schools when children arrive and leave
  • Reduce parking provision through borough-wide Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ), a Workplace Parking Levy, higher parking charges and a progressive reduction in parking spaces
  • Move to sustainable freight including electric-only delivery vehicles and cargo-bike delivery hubs
  • Support London-wide road user charging and the extension of the ULEZ to cover all London boroughs

Support walking, cycling and public transport

  • Deliver a network of cycle routes and create segregated cycle lanes on borough main roads
  • Create walking networks (with wider pavements, less through-traffic, more seating, and more planting)
  • Pedestrianise spaces in key locations such as town centres
  • Prioritise and improve bus speeds for example using bus priority corridors

Planning policies

  • Plan car-free developments supported by improved Public Transport Access
    Levels (PTAL) ratings, for example by improving bus services

EV Charging infrastructure

  • Provide charging facilities and incentives for electric vehicles only as a shared communal service, with facilities off-street or on carriageway and not on the footway

Safe Streets

  • Set 20mph as the default speed limit
  • Require mandatory speed limiters on all contractor vehicles operating in the borough
  • Improve the enforcement of and compliance with the borough-wide 20mph limits

For more information

These polices can be downloaded in more detail here.

Find out how well your council is doing on a range of measures to create healthy, safe green streets on the London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard.

Main image: garryknight, Flickr

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