In 1854, nine years before the arrival of the Underground, 400,000 people walked into the City of London every day. These walks weren’t the final leg of a journey from a mainline station, or within the centre: they were the entire commute.
Londoners still love to walk, of course (two thirds of all trips are walked in the Square mile). But we walk much shorter distances than our predecessors. Currently only 5% of commuter travel to the City is on foot. The average walk-all-the-way trip across London is less than 1km, according to TfL’s Strategic Walking Analysis.
It is clear that the benefits of walking are huge. Walking as part of regular travel is the best way to stay healthy. Switching from motorised travel to walking reduces road danger, air pollution and noise. If more people walk and consequently fewer drive, the result is streets and neighbourhoods that are more pleasant and connected communities.
By David Harrison, vice-chair, London Living Streets
Remember the tube strike in 2017? Full buses and angry and bewildered passengers in long queues at bus stops. I don’t blame them, but many seemed unaware that they could have easily walked to their destination.
Important locations in Central London are often separated by just a short walk. Consider the area round Covent Garden: it’s a 15-minute walk for commuters from Waterloo Station to Covent Garden; about the same for culture vultures to get from the National Gallery to the British Museum along St Martin’s Lane. Continue reading “Introducing the Central London Walking Network”