Over the last 15 months the City of London Corporation has developed and consulted on its first ever long-term Transport Strategy. The Transport Strategy has been finalised following consultation. As member of the Policy Committee I fully supported the approval of the Strategy earlier today. It was particularly great to see my fellow Ward of Cheap colleague Alastair Moss as newly elected Chair of Planning and Transportation present the plans. The strategy will now be submitted to the full Council meeting on 23 May for adoption.
The Strategy sets out the City Corporation’s approach to investing in and managing the City’s streets over the next 25-years and aspirations for improved transport connections. The Strategy includes ambitious proposals to reduce emissions from motor vehicles. These will be in addition to improvements that will be delivered by the Ultra-Low Emission Zone from April 2019. The intended shift to more electric vehicles will mean that slower speeds do not result in increased emissions, and smoother flows at lower speeds should mean less impact from braking and accelerating.
- Put the needs of people walking first when designing and managing our streets
- Take a proactive approach to reducing motor traffic
- Reduce the number of freight vehicles in the Square Mile
- Keep pavements free of obstructions
- Reduce the impact of construction and streetworks
- Introduce 15mph speed limit
- Install additional electric vehicle charging infrastructure
- Support and champion a central London Zero Emission Zone
- Establish a Future Transport Programme
- Apply a minimum cycling level of service to all streets
Some respondents expressed concern about the reallocation of street space to people cycling highlighting negative behaviours of people cycling and conflicts between street users arising from shared space and contraflow cycling lanes. I am a great supporter of improvement of cycle infrastructure in the City, but as mentioned previously I also believe it is important to promote, and where necessary, enforce safer cycling behaviour.
I also welcome the commitment to install additional electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Something I have advocated for as part of our ambition to champion a central London Zero Emission Zone.
Consultation on the draft Transport Strategy ran from 12 November 2018 to 13 January 2019. The consultation generated almost 2,900 individual responses and 6,900 comments through the consultation website, with a further 70 submissions by email. Over 60 organisations also responded to the consultation.
The key themes emerging from this first phase of engagement (February – March 2018) were that:
- Motor traffic levels on the City’s streets are too high
- People walking in the Square Mile are not given enough priority or space
- Conditions for cycling in the Square Mile need to be improved and made safer
- More greenery and seating should be provided on streets and the quality of the public realm improved
- Air quality in the Square Mile needs to be urgently improved
- There is potential to use streets more flexibly to accommodate the various demands on them at different times of the day
- The City’s streets are not accessible to all
- The management of freight needs to be improved