Central London Footways: a transport network for London’s Covid-19 recovery

By Emma Griffin and David Harrison 

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.

Continue reading “Central London Footways: a transport network for London’s Covid-19 recovery”

Join London Living Streets to launch TfL Strategic Walking Analysis and Planning for Walking Toolkit

St Martin’s Lane in London.

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. 

Continue reading “Join London Living Streets to launch TfL Strategic Walking Analysis and Planning for Walking Toolkit”

Introducing the Central London Walking Network

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”

Evaporating traffic? Impact of low-traffic neighbourhoods on main roads


By Emma Griffin, vice-chair, London Living Streets

Low-traffic neighbourhoods can be life-changing for the residents who live in them. Since the neighbourhood improvements in Walthamstow Village in 2015, people are walking and cycling more, children play out, air pollution has improved and life expectancy increased. Continue reading “Evaporating traffic? Impact of low-traffic neighbourhoods on main roads”

London needs a transport revolution, not an electric one

By Emma Griffin, vice-chair, London Living Streets

EV_pavementLast week, the Mayor of London’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Taskforce set out its plans to expand London’s electric vehicle charging network.

Unfortunately the Delivery Plan’s main focus is the automotive industry, or “initiatives to remove barriers and improve the conditions for accelerating investment” and growth in the EV sector.  Continue reading “London needs a transport revolution, not an electric one”

New checklist urges councils to move EV infrastructure off street

BlockingPavementIn the rush to foster demand for electric vehicles (EV), London is letting bulky EV charging points (EVCPs) clutter its footways. These installations take up scarce space and make life more difficult for pedestrians, especially those with visual impairments, wheelchair users, and parents and carers pushing buggies.

These installations are also inconsistent with the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy that requires a major modal shift to walking, cycling and public transport by reducing the use of motor vehicles, creating Healthy Streets, improving public realm and reallocating space for more efficient, active travel modes. Placing EV infrastructure on pavements is a move in the opposite direction.

London Living Streets is calling on councils to set out a policy for slow and rapid EV charging infrastructure, as a number have already done. The policy should follow the EV Infrastructure Checklist (available here) that prioritises EVCP locations for slow and rapid charging in the following order: Continue reading “New checklist urges councils to move EV infrastructure off street”

Are electric vehicles a threat to cities? Conference report

By Emma Griffin, vice-chair, London Living Streets

Cowcross_lowresThere’s a sense of giddiness in current plans for electric vehicles. Government’s Road to Zero strategy talks excitedly about an “electric vehicle revolution”, “all new cars and vans [being] effectively zero emission by 2040”, a “massive roll-out of infrastructure” and the “biggest technology advancement to hit UK roads since the invention of the combustion engine”.

These aspirations were put under closer scrutiny at a conference organised by London Living Streets and Urban Design Group on October 11.

Continue reading “Are electric vehicles a threat to cities? Conference report”

Walking news from Hackney’s Cycling Conference


One of the many noteworthy announcements from Hackney’s seventh cycling conference was that next year it will add ‘walking’ to its title.

This is welcome, not simply because this was one of Hackney Living Street’s demands in its campaign manifesto for the May elections, but also because it reflects an understanding that cycling is just one ingredient in a liveable city. If cities are for everyone — and not just motorists — they must encourage walking and living as well as cycling. Or as Andreas Røhl, Gehl Architects’ biking expert put it, ‘cycling isn’t the goal, it’s a means to an end’.

Listed below are some other key announcements and inspirations from last week’s event, many of which – we are happy to announce — originate from London Living Streets campaigns. Continue reading “Walking news from Hackney’s Cycling Conference”