The sustainable transport charity Sustrans has welcomed the new Labour Mayoral candidate’s manifesto, with its focus on cleaner air and cycle infrastructure.
Sadiq Khan, who is campaigning on the Labour ticket against main rival Zac Goldsmith for the Tories, has published his manifesto, which includes pedestrianising more areas and continuing the Cycle Superhighway Programme, investing in new routes and focussing on segregated provision.
Acting Director of Sustrans London, Matt Winfield, said:"Promising more segregated cycle lanes, quieter routes on back streets, action on dangerous junctions and safer lorries are all positive steps. As is support for Sustrans’ much-needed bike bridge over the Thames between Rotherhithe and the Isle of Dogs.
"Our growing city will get ever more crowded, congested and polluted unless we take bold steps to make green travel more viable.
"Making our streets safer will encourage more Londoners to ride or walk, freeing up space on the Tube and buses."
In his manifesto, Khan writes: “Our most pressing environmental challenge is cleaning up London’s air. I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health, as I suffer from adult-onset asthma. So many pollution hotspots in the city are around schools, exposing our children to dangerously polluted air, and putting them at greater risk of respiratory conditions like mine.”
He says that he will:
- Consult on bringing forward the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and expanding it along major arterial routes or a wider section of central London.
- Introduce Clean Bus Corridors – prioritising new, clean buses for those services which run on the most polluted roads in the city.
- Set a target of only buying clean electric or hydrogen buses from 2020, seeking an agreement across other major European and global cities to do the same, in order to send a signal to bus manufacturers and create a race to the top in clean bus technology.
- Make cycling an easier and safer choice for more Londoners.
- Appoint a pedestrian champion at TfL, to lead on measures to make walking safer and easier across London.
Specifically on cycling, he says that he will:
- Freeze all charges for the Mayor’s cycle hire scheme for four years.
- Increase the proportion of TfL’s budget spent on cycling.
- Continue the Cycle Superhighway Programme, investing in new routes and learning the lessons from earlier schemes, with a focus on segregated provision.
- Prioritise continuous cycling routes running through parks, alongside waterways and down quiet backstreets – to broaden London’s safe cycle network, while completing the roll out of current town-centre cycling improvement plans, and beginning a new round of schemes.
- Promote safer, cleaner lorries – working with the boroughs and using City Hall procurement to set new safety standards, moving towards City Hall and TfL contracts specifying ‘direct-vision’ lorries.
- Review the Safer Junction Programmes to identify and commence priority improvements at more of London’s major accident blackspots.
- Deliver more cycle storage and parking, using the London Plan to ensure provision in new developments, while working with London boroughs deliver on-street secure provision.
- Work to break down some of the city’s physical barriers, such as by backing the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf cycle and pedestrian bridge.
- Encourage the roll out of 20mph zones across the city by backing the '20’s Plenty For Us' campaign.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.