From Brent Cycling Campaign
London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has released a new report on borough and Mayoral progress on delivering on ‘Climate Safe Streets’ – schemes designed to decarbonise roads transport, boost walking & cycling rates and cut motor vehicle use.
The ‘Climate Safe Streets: One Year On, One Year To Go’ report names the boroughs doing best and worst on decarbonising their roads, with borough leaders one year into their current term and with the Mayor having one year to go in his. It tracks London’s progress by assessing action the boroughs and Mayor have taken in line with LCC’s Climate Safe Streets campaigning and makes use of key data on transport mode shift away from private motor vehicles over the last decade too.
Prior to the 2022 local council elections, LCC members and activists in Brent asked the council leader to commit to delivering on a set of specific schemes to enable more people to walk and cycle in the borough and to shift the borough away from private motor vehicle use (wherever possible) and the climate-changing emissions, road danger, inactivity and pollution they cause. Brent 'Asks'.
Party responses to request for pledges in the May 2022 Brent Council Elections:
The report released yesterday by the LCC in conjunction with its local group Brent Cycling Group, says the following about Brent council’s progress over the last year:
Given that the current council leader Muhammed Butt, not only has committed to climate targets for the entire borough of 2030 – marking it out as one of London’s bolder boroughs –it’s quite startling to see the gulf here between the talk and actions. Brent is failing to deliver on just about every sensible approach to roads transport decarbonisation going. It will need to do far, far more and far faster than rely on TfL to deliver one short cycle route to enable active travel, or commercial providers to roll out freight mode shift.
PROGRESS IN BRENT
Sylvia Gauthereau, of Brent Cycling Campaign said.
It’s disappointing to see the lack of meaningful action and lack of emergency over climate action in Brent. The tendency for the Council to over rely on everyone else, may it be TfL or community groups to lead, is more evidence that the political will is just not there despite ambitious, electoral promises. The fragmented and slow-paced approach is no longer suitable given how time sensitive tackling road decarbonisation is. The time to do something bold is now.
Four boroughs are failing to deliver any real ‘Climate Safe Streets’ for residents in their boroughs. In descending order of mode shift away from private motor vehicles pre-pandemic, they are:
- Tower Hamlets
Tower Hamlets is the only London borough where a higher proportion of journeys were being made using private motor vehicles before the pandemic than a decade ago (mode share rose by over 4%). The inner London borough has very low levels of car ownership, but did nothing to constrain car use pre-pandemic. And since the local elections, Tower Hamlets has elected a Mayor on a manifesto of ‘reopening roads’ by removing active travel and car restriction schemes.
The remaining boroughs
12 further boroughs are significantly behind on delivering schemes asked for by LCC’s ‘Climate Safe Streets’ campaign (beyond the already-named bottom four). Of these, the leaders of both Greenwich and Kingston Upon Thames councils both made full commitments to LCC’s campaign ‘asks’ prior to the local council elections but are thus far failing to deliver on those commitments. (Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Kensington & Chelsea, Redbridge and Sutton are all significantly failing to deliver on Climate Safe Streets schemes).
LCC’s report provides specific recommendations to the leadership for each London borough to help them get on track delivering on roads transport emissions, against their climate emergency declarations (in London, only Bexley and Bromley appear to have not declared an ‘emergency’).
As well as assessing the boroughs’ progress to delivering ‘Climate Safe Streets’, LCC’s report also assesses the London Mayor’s progress.
The good news is the Mayor of London’s commitment to a ‘Vision Zero’ of eliminating serious and fatal collisions from London’s roads by 2041 is broadly on track – likely due to the roll-out of 20mph zones, active travel schemes and the Met Police’s increasing speed enforcement (the Met is due to enforce 1 million speeding offences annually by 2024). However, improvements to dangerous junctions remain slow to roll out, and the Mayor’s self-set target of making London ‘Net Zero’ on climate emissions by 2030, requiring a 27% cut in road km driven according to his team, is not on target. Vehicle km driven were rising pre-pandemic, private motor vehicle mode share was not coming down fast enough and patchy delivery by boroughs remains a serious issue.
LCC’s recommendations from the report are that the Mayor must accelerate his programme, particularly ensuring ULEZ expansion set for August is not delayed or weakened, get bolder on the schemes and roads he has direct powers over, and solve the current siloed working inside TfL in favour of schemes that deliver for buses and active travel.
Simon Munk, Head of Campaigns, London Cycling Campaign
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.
The full report can be read and downloaded HERE,