Report outlines plan to decarbonise streets and reduce pollution in London

Yesterday (March 19), the London Cycling Campaign (LCC)  published its ‘Climate Safe Streets’ report, outlining a plan to decarbonise transport and reduce pollution from the city’s roads in the next decade. 

The authors of the report have laid out eight priorities that the next Mayor of London and Borough Councils must make to improve London’s transport systems, help the city to address the climate emergency and reduce air pollution. 

These priorities include: rapidly delivering a high-quality cycling network, introducing smart road-user charging and supporting the growth of zero-carbon shared mobility options.

They also include expanding low traffic neighbourhoods, optimising zero-emission bus services, proactively supporting the transition to low-carbon freight transport fleet, enabling the shift to low-carbon vehicles and enabling car-free planning.

Many leaders have looked to electric vehicles to help address the climate crisis, however, according to the authors of the report, we would need nearly a 60% reduction in car mileage, even if all cars were low emission to reach any meaningful targets. 

The authors of the report also highlight that electric vehicles still leave us with problems of pollution from brake dust, congestion and dangerous roads. 

These three things prevent people from walking to school or work which further contributes to the problem. 

Having polluted street reduces footfall, which is bad for the high street and it makes parents more likely to drive their children short distances. 

Dr Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the LCC said: ‘Despite undeniable progress, we remain far away from achieving the profound transformation of our urban landscape that is ultimately required. We need to go much further still, not only to make cycling the norm for everyday journeys but also to provide a full suite of affordable and convenient alternatives to our over-dependence on private cars.

‘The good news is that the necessary market-pull and market-push tools are already available to enable this. The central question is whether London’s politicians, decision-makers and authorities have the political will to embrace them.’

Fran Graham, campaigns coordinator at LCC said: ‘ If we rise to this challenge, we will not only have met our global responsibility to cut carbon emissions and protect the future for the planet and millions of people, but also will create a better London – one with fewer cars, less pollution, greener streets and much, much more high-quality cycling infrastructure.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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