Air quality action proposed for London’s Square Mile

The City of London Corporation has developed a long-term Transport Strategy, which aims to tackle air quality, congestion and road danger within the Square Mile.

According to the organisation, over 500,000 workers commute into London’s business district each day, which spans over one square mile.

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

Under the proposals, the next 25-years of transport investment in London would see:

  • Pedestrians as the priority:Planning, infrastructure and safety changes, which will be developed by “prioritising” the needs of people walking, while seeking to minimise any impact on essential traffic.
  • A congestion charge that’s fit for purpose: Support the next generation in road user charging for London as part of a range of measures to “proactively seek” to reduce motor traffic by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2044.
  • Fewer vehicles on City streets: A street hierarchy to encourage drivers to use the correct street for the right journey. Vehicles that do not have a final destination in the City will be directed away from pedestrian priority areas.
  • The City as UK pioneers for a zero emission future: The City of London Corporation said it would champion” Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone to cover central London and, in the interim, introduce local zero emission zones covering the Eastern City Cluster and Barbican and Golden Lane.
  • Vision Zero achieved at 15mph: The introduction of a City-wide 15mph speed limit, subject to approval by the Department for Transport, aims to reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions in an attempt to prevent deaths and serious injuries on the streets.
  • Consolidation is key: To reduce road congestion from delivery vehicles by 50% by 2030 with off-site consolidation, timed access and loading restrictions, specifically for freight vehicles.

Commenting on the proposals, Chris Hayward, Planning & Transportation chairman at the City of London Corporation, said: “I am delighted that the City Corporation engaged with over 2,500 people during the earlier public consultations, the findings from which shaped these proposals.

“The Square Mile is a unique place to travel, therefore radical proposals are required to future-proof this world class, growing business and cultural centre.”

He continued: “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.”


The Strategy includes further proposals which address accessibility issues for those with mobility needs, on street security, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, emerging technology among others.

The draft Strategy will be presented to the Planning and Transportation Committee for consideration on Tuesday 30 October. If approved, consultation on the Strategy and draft Delivery Plan, which outlines how the City Corporation will phase short-term deliverables over the next three years, will begin in November.

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


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