Brent associations campaigning for active travel and environmental health have launched a petition outlining how the Council Leader and his Cabinet can ensure Brent Builds Back Better as lockdown eases:
We Need Brent to Build Back Better Now
Having declared a Climate Emergency last July, we have to move with a greater sense of urgency to promote active travel, a healthy environment and clean air in our Borough. We have the largest number of Covid-19 cases in London, reflecting health inequalities across income, ethnicity and race directly related to air pollution and passive travel, as well as poor employment conditions and overcrowded housing. Government-enforced austerity and legacies of racial and economic injustice are largely responsible for this situation, but Brent Council has the opportunity Build Back Better by:
· Immediately implementing the Borough’s Cycle and Walking Strategies via pop-up cycle lanes and cycle-friendly modal filters.
· Accelerating the implementation of the ‘Healthy Streets’ initiative between Wembley and Willesden Junction, and pro-actively implement low-traffic neighbourhoods.
· A faster roll-out of more School Streets across the Borough to improve air quality around schools, make them safer and encourage cycling and walking to and from schools as these re-open.
· Developing a plan to decarbonise the Borough by creating new, well-paid, secure, unionised jobs; divesting the Council’s pension fund from fossil fuel companies; creating a policy of public procurement; enforcing a rapid transition of the Council’s own fleet of vehicles to electric; and requiring Council deliveries to be by electric vehicles or cycles, including cargo-bikes.
· Putting in place Clean Air Zones, charging where necessary.
· Multiplying the provision of cycle hoops and bike hangers, at the same pace, if not faster, as on-street electric charging points.
· Reallocating parking space to people, particularly around commercial streets, since cyclist and pedestrians have been shown to spend more on local High Streets.
Many of these measures can be delivered immediately and most rapidly if the Leader and Cabinet show the political will, and match best practice across London.
We need to Build Back Better now.
Brent Cycling Campaign, Brent Friends of the Earth, Divest Brent, Willesden Green Residents' Association, Brent XR