London Boroughs evaluated on Climate Safe Street progress

In 202o London Cycling Campaign launched its ‘Climate Safe Streets’, calling for policies and action to encourage cycling in the capital. 

When the 2022 local council elections took place in the city last May, LCC asked potential council leadership candidates in every borough to commit to a range of Climate Safe Streets objectives, specific to their borough.  A year on from that, and with one year left on the mayor’s tenancy, they have published a report, ‘One Year On, One Year To Go’, which evaluates how each of the boroughs have performed in this respect, over the last 12 months.

people riding bikes on road

LCC have not only tracked progress on the schemes that they asked for a year ago, but they have also examined what each council are doing in terms of reducing the mode share of private motor traffic. They also examined the progress made by Sadiq Khan, urging him not to delay or weaken the ULEZ roll out and to instill some coherence into Transport for London’s planning.

Moving on, the report found huge differences in the commitment of the 32 boroughs to reducing traffic and promoting active travel. Tower Hamlets, who elected a mayor promising to enable more driving, is the only borough in which private vehicle journeys have increased over the last ten years. At the other end of the spectrum, Hackney has seen a fall of  37% in car use.

Three other boroughs who join Hackney for particular praise are Camden, Waltham Forest and Lambeth. Alongside Tower Hamlets in the dog house are Bromley, Hillingdon and Bexley.

There are some interesting anomalies among the findings. Car use in Kensington & Chelsea has dropped by nearly 25% despite, rather than because of, the actions of the council who have removed the borough’s only cycle lane. The report mentions some other boroughs in which the residents seem to have greater enthusiasm for ditching cars than the council.

Simon Munk, Head of Campaigns, London Cycling Campaign 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 now a better city today.’

Rob Whitehead, Director of Strategic Development, 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’

Photo: Matthew Waring


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1 year ago

Good idea but I don’t understsand the slogan ‘Climate Safe Streets’. The state of our climate, whether a country or the whole planet,means everywhere not at the level of indiviudal streets, as though one street could have a different climate to another? Maybe what they mean is ‘clean-air streets’ ? Or vehicle-free? Or am I being too pendantic?

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