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City of London to consult on long-term transport plan

Plans to establish a long term transport strategy in the Square Mile – which could see the introduction of ‘zero emission zones’ in the heart of London’s financial district – have taken a step forward this week.

City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee yesterday (30 October) voted to move ahead with a consultation on the draft strategy, which aims to address air quality, congestion and road safety within the Square Mile.

London’s Square Mile is one of the country’s major financial districts

The draft strategy, outlined earlier this month (see airqualitynews.com story) sets out a raft of potential policies aimed at meeting these objectives in the long term.

These include measures to prioritise walking and cycling, incorporating more greenery into the City’s streets and public spaces, as well as an aim to reduce road traffic by a quarter by 2030, by developing the ‘next generation’ of road charging and promoting ridesharing.

On air quality, City of London says it will explore the feasibility of introducing a city-wide Zero Emission Zone, coordinating work with other London local authorities if the measure is not backed by City Hall.

Zero Emission Zones

The authority will also introduce local ZEZs covering the Barbican and Golden Lane estates and the City Cluster by 2022.

“Proposals will be developed in consultation with residents and businesses and will reflect the availability of zero emission capable vehicles, while seeking to accelerate their uptake. We will coordinate proposals with TfL, London Councils and London’s boroughs to ensure alignment with other existing and planned zero emissions areas and streets,” the draft strategy states.

Plans for two Zero Emission Zones are being drawn up

Steps will also be taken to increase the provision of electric vehicle charging points, as well as making the City’s own fleet zero emission-capable where possible.

Work will be carried out to reduce the number of freight vehicles operating in the Square Mile by 30% by 2044 – and to facilitate the transition to ‘ultra-low emission and zero emission vehicles’.

City of London will explore the potential for area and City-wide timed access and loading restrictions for motorised freight vehicles. Our aim is to reduce the number of these vehicles on our streets in the peak periods by 50% by 2030 and by 90% by 2044, using night time deliveries and consolidation schemes where possible, as well as enabling more deliveries by cargo bikes and on foot.

‘Transformative’

Unveiling the strategy earlier this month, Chris Hayward, planning & transportation chairman at the City of London Corporation said that the plans would address the Square Mile’s ‘unique’ transport needs.

“We know that the way that the vast majority of people get to the City is different than elsewhere across the world, with 93% of commuters arriving here by public transport, walking or cycling,” he said.

“Once finalised, this Transport Strategy will be transformative in ensuring that the Square Mile remains a healthy, accessible and safe commercial and cultural centre and a great place to live, work, and visit in the years to come.”

Following yesterday’s vote, consultation on the Strategy and draft Delivery Plan, which outlines how the City Corporation will deliver on some of these aims in the short term, will begin in November.

The final Strategy will be submitted to City Corporation decision making bodies in Spring 2019.

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