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City of London transport strategy

13th October 2018

Tower Bridge, London

Tower Bridge, London

The City of London has published a 25-year transport strategy, based on extensive consultation. It is to be supported by short-term delivery plans.

Among the key themes raised by people who were consulted are:

  • Traffic levels are too high
  • People walking in the Square Mile are not given enough priority or space
  • Cycling conditions need to be improved
  • Air quality must be improved urgently
  • Streets accessible to all, including those using mobility aids

One of the stated aims of the Transport Strategy is to reduce motor traffic so that space can be reallocated to walking, cycling, greenery, and public spaces. One of the future outcomes to be achieved is cleaner and quieter streets.

The Strategy has a total of 54 proposals. Some of them are:

  • Proposal 1: use a Healthy Streets Approach as the framework for the strategy. This means placing improving people's health and their experience of using the streets at the heart of transport decision-making. 'Fewer, cleaner and quieter motor vehicles will mean that streets are less dominated by traffic and easier to cross. People driving and riding in the City will recognise the Square Mile as a place where people on foot come first - they will travel slowly and be prepared to give way to people walking. Pavements will be wide enough to avoid feeling uncomfortably crowded...'
  • Proposal 2: putting the needs of people walking first, and accepting that may result in delays or reduced capacity for other street users
  • Proposal 11: take a proactive approach to reducing motor traffic, by reallocating space to walking and cycling, and not providing any extra on-street parking
  • Proposal 15: support British Cycling's Turning the Corner campaign
  • Proposal 17: keep pavements free of obstructions
  • Proposal 20: eliminate deaths and serious injuries on the roads. As part of this, there's to be a City-wide 15mph limit
  • Proposal 24: apply a minimum cycling level of service to all streets. Currently, 4% of people consider cycling the City to be pleasant, and 56% say it is unpleasant. The Strategy aims to increase the 4% to 75% by 2044
  • Proposal 52: use temporary and experimental measures to accelerate the pace of change, and to test ideas

There are also proposals to increase electric vehicle charging, roll out zero-emission buses, and reduce noise from vehicles; and to enable last mile deliveries to be by cargo bike or small electric vehicles.

On one hand, the City of London is something of a special case, with 8,000 residents and 480,000 workers, plus many tourists; walking is by far the most common mode of transport within the Square Mile. On the other hand, many of the factors which are relevant to the City are also applicable to other crowded towns and cities in the UK.

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