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

New scorecard reveals gaps in London boroughs’ progress on healthy streets


London Living Streets and London transport campaigners, London Cycling Campaign, CPRE London, RoadPeace, Sustrans and Campaign for Better Transport London have published a new scorecard that will measure London boroughs’ progress towards the Mayor’s Transport Strategy ‘healthy streets’ targets. 

Continue reading “New scorecard reveals gaps in London boroughs’ progress on healthy streets”

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”

Pavements under threat in Islington for benefit of motorists

IslingtonEV_lowresIslington Council is consulting on proposals for new electric vehicle charging points. Most of these are proposed to be on the pavement to the detriment of pedestrians and especially those with visual impairments, wheelchair users, and parents and carers pushing buggies. As ever, motorists seem to come first, despite the council’s frequent references to pedestrian priority.

Deadline for consultations on 19 new charge points closes on 12 July 2019. Respond here.  

London Living Streets has argued that there should be a hierarchy of locations: off street first; then in a build-out on the road; and finally and in the last resort on the pavement.

London Living Street’s EV Infrastructure Checklist is available here

The Mayor’s EV Infrastructure Delivery Plan also considers how EV charge points can reduce their “streetscape impact” by being installed on the carriageway or off street in “residential hubs”.

Islington has subverted the hierarchy, filling our streets with Source London chargers which have a bright light and make an irritating noise.  Amazingly, the Council will more or less install a charging point on demand: ‘We will do our best to install charging points where there is known demand but it not always possible due to technical constraints,”  the Council states. But technology is changing all the time, which means residents of the borough will be left with redundant chargers littering the pavements for decades.

Electric Vehicles are presented by the car industry as the ‘green option’, but they still produce dangerous levels of particulates, congestion, endanger the lives of pedestrians, encourage the obesity epidemic and dominate our streets. Parents will not want their children to walk and cycle to school while these conditions continue.

If only walking and cycling schemes were rolled out as quickly.


Join a tour of parklets in Islington and Hackney

ParkletBwayJoin a cycle round pioneering parklets in Islington and Hackney as part of London’s National Park City festival on Wednesday July 21st 2019.

Be inspired by what can be done in just the space taken up by one car; somewhere to sit, chat, think, enjoy a coffee or admire a tiny piece of paradise in our crowded urban environment. Talk to the creators to find out more. Bring cakes to share!

Where will you YOU create your own parklet?

Book your place on Eventbrite here.

More about London Living Street’s ground-breaking parklet campaign is here.

(Children welcome but please only with a responsible adult.)