Healthy Streets for London Prioritising walking, cycling and public transport to create a healthy city

The document sets out a new approach, a Healthy Streets Approach, that will provide “the framework of policies and strategies” for TfL, working with public leaders, businesses, and communities across London, to ensure that active travel – walking, cycling, and using public transport – will be the first and obvious choice for travel.

This is very good news for those of us who already cycle, but it is even better news for those many more people who do not cycle but would like to. Importantly, it is good news for everyone, now and in the future, whether they cycle or not.

The document notes that the focus is “on a short-term effort to ensure the streets are operating as efficiently as possible.” We will have to wait for the Mayor’s Transport Strategy (draft version expected in April or May 2017) to learn of the measures required to deliver the longer-term plan of achieving a shift from car use towards more efficient means of transport (walking, cycling, public transport). That may explain why ‘Healthy Streets’ is devoid of any specific proposals. The Mayor’s Transport Strategy will also “look at how we can incentivize reductions in the most harmful car use more directly.” It is difficult to see how streets, certainly in much of outer London, will be truly ‘healthy’ unless a reduction in all car use is incentivized.


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