City of London outlines extreme plan for tackling air quality, road safety and congestion

City of London to impose large-scale Zero Emission Zone, a city-wide 15mph speed limit and pedestrian priority areas

The City of London’s governing body has outlined an extreme plan for tackling air quality, road safety and congestion within the Square Mile, involving the implementation of a large-scale Zero Emission Zone, a city-wide 15mph speed limit and pedestrian priority areas.

Entitled the Transport Strategy, it’s intended as an investment in the City’s transport for the next 25 years.

Changes to planning, infrastructure and safety will be made to prioritise the needs of pedestrians, while also seeking to minimise any impact on essential traffic.

The City of London Corporation says it intends to “champion the next generation” of congestion charging, with the goal of reducing overall motor traffic by 25 per cent before 2030 and by 50 per cent before 2044.

A so-called “street hierarchy” will be put in place to direct vehicles away from pedestrian priority areas when they do not have a final destination within the City.

Legislators want the City to incorporate the first large-scale Zero Emission Zone, with smaller localised versions set up in areas such as the Eastern City Cluster, Barbican and Golden Lane in the meantime.

In terms of road safety, the Corporation cites a significant reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured while cycling following the implementation of a blanket 20mph speed limit as good reason to reduce this further to 15mph, subject to approval from the Department of Transport.

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Finally, the Corporation points out delivery vehicles make up a quarter of traffic on the City’s streets, rising to a third during the morning peak. It plans to reduce this by 50 per cent before 2030 with the introduction of off-site consolidation, as well as timed access and loading restrictions for freight vehicles.

The draft strategy will be presented to the Planning and Transportation Committee for consideration on October 30. If approved, consultation on both it and the draft delivery plan – which outlines how the Corporation will phase in short-term deliverables over the next three years – will begin in November. The final strategy will be submitted to the Corporation’s decision-making bodies in Spring 2019.

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Chris Hayward, chairman of planning and transportation at the City of London Corporation, commented: “The Square Mile is a unique place to travel. Therefore, radical proposals are required to future-proof this growing business and cultural centre.

“We know the way the vast majority of people get into the City is different to elsewhere across the world, with 93 per cent of commuters arriving here by public transport, walking or cycling.

“Nine out of 10 of collisions that result in someone being killed or seriously injured involve a motor vehicle, so we need bold proposals to make our streets safer.”

Now read about the London T-charge, which was introduced in 2017…

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