The London Mayor Sadiq Khan is to press ahead with plans for more ‘active transport’ to try to ease the capital’s traffic woes.
The Labour Mayor says more walking and cycling, and less driving, will help to reduce “toxic” air pollution as well as congestion - but accepts improvements need to be made to infrastructure if plans are to work.
Val Shawcross deputy mayor for transport, set out plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street and eliminate deaths of cyclists by left-turning lorries.
Ms Shawcross told the Evening Standard: “In City Hall, I hear him say, ‘How can we progress modal shift? How can we get people into active transport — walking, cycling and public transport?’ I think the result could be a sea change for cyclists and pedestrians.”
Earlier this week we reported how Khan has ordered Transport for London (TfL) to continue work on the CS11 route. Announcing the outcome of a consultation on the route, TfL said it would publish a decision on how to proceed later in the year.
The plans for CS11 have drawn no little controversy with much opposition centring on the closure of four of eight gates in Regent’s Park during the day.
A consultation on the route attracted 6,277 responses, with 53 per cent supporting and seven per cent part-supporting the plans. Of the 37 per cent opposed to the plans, longer delays resulting from the proposed removal of the Swiss Cottage gyratory were said to be “of particular concern.” A number of respondents also objected to the use of raised tables at junctions in Regent’s Park.
Announcing the outcome of the consultation, TfL said: “We are currently reviewing the proposals for CS11 in light of the consultation responses, in order to determine the best way forward. We continue to discuss the potential impacts of the proposals with key stakeholders,” adding: “We plan to publish our response to the issues raised during consultation, as well as a decision on how to proceed, later in 2016.”
Today, in a speech setting out Mr Khan’s vision, Ms Shawcorss spoke of a “pressing” need to pedestrianise Oxford Street before the opening of Crossrail in 2018.
“We do need to remove traffic to make Oxford Street work,” she said. “That is pressing on us now. When Crossrail’s central section opens in 2018, there will be hundreds of thousands more people coming into central London.”
She added: “It’s core activity for us — to make London a great city to cycle, a great city to walk, a great city to work.”
Matt Winfield, acting London director of Sustrans, said: “In terms of a statement of intent, it was as good as you could have reasonably expected. I think it’s exciting that Val was talking about changing the environment for all Londoners.”
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.