London’s ‘Healthy Streets Officers’ to encourage people out of their cars

Transport for London (TfL) will appoint a network of ‘Healthy Streets Officers’ to encourage people to walk and cycle in the city and discourage vehicle idling.

The new network will be managed by the charity Sustrans and will also support boroughs with London-wide events including World Car Free Day, Walk to Work Week and Road Safety Week.

The first officers will start their roles in Redbridge in the coming weeks, before being rolled out to the remaining boroughs and the City of London in the autumn.

TfL says the officers will work with the boroughs in a supporting role and will not replace the local authority roles dedicated to cycling, air quality, school travel planning and reducing road danger.

For the programme, Sustrans has teamed up with Lucy Saunders, a public health specialist who worked with TfL and the GLA to implement Healthy Streets in London, an approach that puts people’s health at the centre of decisions about design, management and use of public spaces.

The charity is also working in partnership with inclusive cycling expert Tiffany Lam to address disparities in cycling (for example, based on gender, race or socioeconomic class) and to ensure that the delivery of Healthy Streets is inclusive by design and appropriate for London’s diverse population.

Earlier this summer, Sustrans published a report which said that women, older and disabled people ‘continue to be neglected’ when it comes to cycling provision in UK cities.

Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at TfL, said: ‘Partnering with the boroughs is absolutely vital if we are to reduce road danger and improve air quality, and transform London into an active, healthy and green city.

‘Our new team of Healthy Streets Officers will closely collaborate with the London borough teams to engage with schools, businesses and communities across the capital and encourage safe and sustainable ways to travel.’

Read last weeks AirQualityNews editorial about encouraging people to leave their cars at home here.

Photo Credit – Pixabay