If you are keen to get involved in the local elections that are coming up on 5th May, London Living Streets has put together a vision that sets out how the Councillors that are elected can help make the borough they live in and London overall a great place to walk.
We are asking candidates to embrace policies that enable people to walk by improving the opportunities and experience for all abilities and ages to use our streets without fear of vehicle danger. Please do discuss these issues with Councillor candidates and let us know who is up for this kind of change.
The Vision is based around 5 main themes:
1. Clear footways.
2. Reducing the dominance and volumes of motor traffic on our streets.
London’s walking and cycling commissioner will talk about TfL’s huge efforts to enable walking during the pandemic and the plans to create walking-friendly streets and public spaces across London and although London specific this will be of value to anyone who is interested in enabling walking through their work or in the town or city where they live.
Emma Griffin of London Living Streets will continue the theme, including the “Footways” initiative to create maps of pedestrian routes on quiet, low traffic routes – now extending beyond central London.
We will start off with a presentation and then move on to a Q&A/discussion with a mix of questions already submitted and questions on the evening. If you do have a question to pose in advance email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to make sure that it is covered on the evening.
6pm – Welcome from Katja Stille , Chair UDG and introduction by David Harrison LLS.
Will Norman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner for London on Walking in London
Emma Griffin, London Living Streets on the Ambition for walking in London and the power of walking networks (Footways)
Did you know that Apple have approached London Living Streets to talk about algorithms? Our London Footways map has started a discussion and the next meeting of Walking@Tea-time will be exploring the potential of algorithms. In particular, can they capture the human experience of walking?
In a few years, we’ve gone from a world in which people found their way using the AtoZ to one in which we rely on our smart-phones. But this is more than a change of medium: in addition to efficient route-finding, algorithms have the potential to provide us with highly customised options and to draw our attention to points of interest or opportunities of particular interest to us. Can this induce us to walk more? And is there something special about the paper map that we lose when we reach for our phones?
Emma Griffin, co-founder of the Footways Project, will describe the human experience of creating the map
Two experts will assist us with our enquiries:
Ana Basiri, Professor of Geospatial Data Science at University of Glasgow, whose ground-breaking work with large datasets has included the creation of maps from crowd-sourced data
Hana Sutch, Co-Founder and Chief Walker & Talker at Go Jauntly, the innovative app that both provides and gathers information about great walks
Parks for People have informed us that they have postponed their socially-distanced protest calling on the Crown Estates Paving Commission to limit through traffic in Regent’s Park on police advice owing to the very large number of people anticipated. Further information on how you can make your views known at http://parksforpeople.org
Please do not go to the gates on Saturday, 12th September.
Following a very lively and well-attended launch event in May, Walking@Tea-time is back to discuss what we know about the pedestrian pound.
Active travel campaigners know that pedestrian spending is very important, and that an attractive public realm brings people in. Major landowners know this too. But many shopkeepers believe their trade depends on the passing motorist. There is now a considerable body of evidence on the subject both in the UK and internationally. We are delighted to welcome two speakers perfectly placed to discuss this evidence: Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy at Living Streets, and Anne Faure, President of Rue de l’avenir. They will also be well-placed to discuss developments post-Covid 19, and (with Anne’s insights) we will consider the likely consequences of Mayor Hidalgo’s recent election triumph in Paris.
Walking@Tea-time, is hosted by Tom Cohen and is supported by London Living Streets and the Active Travel Academy at University of Westminster. Co-ordinators: Tom Cohen, Emma Griffin and David Harrison.
Organised by London Living Streets and the Active Travel Academy at University of Westminster, this is the first of a series of speaker meetings intended to enable discussion of policy issues relevant to walking. At our free launch event, we are asking two questions: Why is walking the poor cousin of transport policy? And what can we do about it? To help answer them, we’ll be joined by: • Maria Vassilakou, of the Austrian Green Party, who is former Vice-Mayor and Deputy Governor of Vienna, where she did impressive things to promote walking • Phil Jones, Chairman of Phil Jones Associates, who has worked extensively on both designing for walking and developing the surrounding policy • Steve Gooding, who is Director of the RAC Foundation and, as a former DfT Director General, is very knowledgeable about transport policy.
TfL has today published its first Strategic Walking Analysis which was to be launched at a joint event with London Living Streets on 16th March. The document and its associated datasets provides analyses of levels of walking , walkable trips and barriers to walking, mapping out at a granular level where the walking experience could be improved and where more people could walk.
London under lockdown has become a very different place from the one we were familiar with. The need for restricted movement and social distancing has already resulted in the postponement of a huge number of events including the launch of Transport for London’s Strategic Walking Analysis that we were due to host on 16th March.
While we are all struck by the damage that the virus is causing, we have seen a dramatic fall in air pollution as a result of the greatly reduced volume of motor traffic since the lockdown started. However, the need to maintain a safe distance has highlighted just how little of our street space is given over to walking. Narrow pavements and frequent obstructions mean that when we make our essential journeys we are often having to move into the carriageway to avoid passing close to other people. Even with less motor traffic on the roads, this can feel very uncomfortable and unsafe. Detective Superintendent Andy Cox of the Metropolitan Police along with his team of officers is doing a fantastic job to communicate that they have no tolerance for drivers who speed or break the law. We would like to see all authorities re-enforce this with a message that drivers should look out for people on the road and share the space cheerfully and with good grace.
The national Living Streets website has comprehensive advice on when and how to walk with support for those who are wanting to walk to make those vital daily trips.
The following letter appeared in The Times, 2nd May 2018
‘One of the best ways of addressing childhood obesity (letter, May 1) is encouraging children to walk to school. It is particularly unfortunate that the transport secretary plans to make this less likely by forcing utilities to dig up pavements not roads (News, Apr 30), creating a “hostile environment” for pedestrians. Should he speak to the Department for Health?’
The Evening Standard reports that Westminster’s cabinet member for Oxford Street, Daniel Astaire, has now told officials to stop working on the pedestrianisation plan for Oxford Street. At a full council meeting last week Mr Astaire said: “TfL and the Mayor are the main proponents of the changes to the street, but it belongs to the council and the decision rests with us.
Joe Irvin of Living Streets said
“Oxford Street has a horrendous casualty record and suffers illegal levels of air pollution. These problems will only be exacerbated with the additional 150,000 people expected to arrive via the new Elizabeth Line opening in December. We can’t afford to wait.
“We do not support any solution that simply pushes the problem onto neighbouring streets. That’s why from the start we have advocated for an area-wide approach that makes the whole area a safer and more pleasant place to walk, live and shop.
“Any delays to transforming Oxford Street will threaten the health and safety of everyone using London’s most iconic high street and the economic viability of the area.”