‘Get the ULEZ done without delay’ Sadiq Khan urged in new report

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The report also assessed the climate performance of each of London’s boroughs, with Hackney the best and Tower Hamlets the worst.

A London campaign group has urged the mayor to “get the ULEZ expansion done without delay”, in a new report analysing the climate progress made by Sadiq Khan and the capital’s boroughs.

London Cycling Campaign (LCC) made the call in its new Climate Safe Streets: One Year On, One Year To Go report, as it pushes Mr Khan to do more to tackle the climate crisis and reduce car use.

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Referencing the rebound of vehicles driven in the capital following the pandemic, the report states: “We need to reduce road km driven more than we saw during the worst year of the pandemic, on a permanent basis, to fulfil our climate obligations.”

Further work is also required in areas including safety around junctions, developing London’s cycling network, and shared mobility options, it continues, though  Mr Khan is praised for his progress on ‘Vision Zero’, which aims for an end to serious and fatal road collisions. The report particularly commends him for his efforts in relation to the Met’s speed enforcement targets and the 20mph roads rollout.

On the mayor’s planned ULEZ expansion, it says the scheme “is likely to reduce motor vehicle journeys significantly in the capital.

“But it already reaches to the north and south circular, well into outer London. So it is clear that the mayor, to hit his own targets, will need to do far more to shift journeys away from cars, and to decarbonise road transport.”

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The report lays out two key recommendations for Mr Khan, namely to “get the ULEZ expansion done without delay”, and to solve “internal incoherence” in Transport for London (TfL), which LCC claims is causing various schemes to be pitted against one another.

‘Exemplar’ Hackney praised for climate action

In addition to the mayor, the report also assesses progress made by London’s boroughs against metrics such as school schemes, low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and cycle parking.

Hackney came top of the list, with LCC describing it as an “exemplar on Climate Safe Streets delivery and climate action generally”. The borough’s commitments to being Net Zero by 2040, recently updated to 2030, and having LTNs cover 75% of the borough by 2025 were among those praised.

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Hackney scored highest in LCC’s report for its work delivering schemes such as LTNs and school streets. Credit: Google.Hackney scored highest in LCC’s report for its work delivering schemes such as LTNs and school streets. Credit: Google.
Hackney scored highest in LCC’s report for its work delivering schemes such as LTNs and school streets. Credit: Google.

Commenting on the report, Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “Encouraging more people to move away from private car use and towards walking and cycling is a huge part of reducing air pollution and helping us achieve our mission of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

“It’s great to see so many boroughs delivering ‘Climate Safe Streets’ by dramatically reducing motor use and increasing active travel, and the mayor will continue to work with all boroughs on this scheme, in order to protect the health of Londoners and the environment, building  a better, safer, greener London for everyone.”

Simon Munk, head of campaigns at LCC, said: “London must not be a postcode lottery for climate action or safe cycling and walking. We need a lot more boroughs delivering ‘Climate Safe Streets’ like Hackney and Waltham Forest and fewer, like Tower Hamlets and Bromley, failing to deliver as our new report shows. Every London council and the mayor must deliver more streets fit for cycling, walking and children playing, and faster, if we’re to help London escape the grip of car dependency and the cost of living crisis.

“Our new ‘One Year On, One Year To Go’ report highlights what needs to be done, for future generations, and to make London a better city today.”

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Rob Whitehead, director of strategic development at Centre for London, added: “This report is a vital part of keeping up the pressure on all London’s leaders to do more to make London’s streets better for walking and cycling. If they don’t, more Londoners will die or get seriously harmed on the roads. Fewer of us will get the health benefits of walking and cycling. More will suffer from the blights of congestion and pollution. And we will have missed a hiding-in-plain-sight opportunity to tackle the climate emergency.”

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