Transport

This is one of a number of pages/topics about the work of Just Space groups preparing positions and demands for what goes in the next London Plan. A list of the topics is here.

22 March 2017 Just Space comments on the scoping study for the IIA (Integrated Impact Assessment) for the Mayor’s Transport Strategy: IIA Scoping Report for a Revised Mayoral Transport Strategy comments by Just Space

8 November 2016: Just Space comments on the draft scoping study for the IIA (Integrated Impact Assessment) for the Mayoral Transport Strategy: IIA Scoping Report for a Revised Mayoral Transport Strategy comments by Just Space

This is what the October Visions document said about Transport:

London’s population is expected to increase considerably, but the London Plan has not been doing enough to reduce the need for people to travel and to maximise uptake of walking and cycling before bringing forward mega transport projects. It is even pursuing new roads and river crossings for vehicles, which would add to the problems of traffic congestion and pollution, without non-road alternatives being properly considered. Poor attention is being given to social and environmental factors, such as carbon emission targets, air quality, public transport fares and local employment.
The London Plan needs binding policies to bring essential changes in our transport habits.

1. Reduce the need for people to have to travel by providing key amenities and job opportunities locally and more balanced economic development between the Central Area and the rest of London.
2. More investment in walking and cycling, and public transport services in Outer London, particularly bus services and Orbital Light Rail
3. Strong road traffic reduction targets, implementing road pricing, strengthening Low Emission requirements and avoiding traffic generating transport schemes.
4. Shift road freight to rivers and canals by implementing the Blue Ribbon Network

Some of the materials from the July community conference will be relevant.

Just Space Working Group: Transport (briefing for 4 Feb conference)

 The Problem: London’s population is expected to increase considerably, but the London Plan has not been doing enough to reduce the need for people to travel and to maximise uptake of walking and cycling before bringing forward mega transport projects. It is even pursuing new roads and river crossings for vehicles, which would add to the problems of traffic congestion and pollution, without non-road alternatives being properly considered. Poor attention is being given to social and environmental factors, such as carbon emission targets, air quality, public transport fares and local employment.

The London Plan and the Mayoral Transport Strategy need binding policies to bring essential changes in our transport habits.

 

Transport Objectives:

Reduce the need for people to have to travel by providing key amenities and job opportunities locally and more balanced economic development between the Central Area and the rest of London.

 

More investment throughout London in walking, cycling and accessible transport, and in Outer London in public transport services, particularly bus services and Orbital Rail.

 

Strong road traffic reduction targets, implementing road user charging, strengthening Low Emission requirements and avoiding traffic generating transport schemes.

 

Promote an integrated approach to freight with a network of consolidation hubs and managed distribution for the final leg of delivery. Shift road freight to rivers and canals by implementing the Blue Ribbon Network.

 

Transport Policies include:

Introduce lifetime suburbs in Outer London, scaling up lifetime neighbourhoods, to reduce the need to travel by greater share of jobs, services and homes

 

International examples such as.Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) show how mixed multifunctional communities focused on public transport hubs can achieve sustainable development.

 

Support and improve throughout London walking, cycling, public transport facilities, including their affordability and accessibility. Road space reallocation including reducing or eliminating car travel lanes in specific areas to create additional space for walking, cycling and the public realm.                                                            

Creating safe, liveable and fully accessible routes, places and public transport for all also requires consideration of affordability as low paid workers are disproportionately affected by rising transport costs.

 

Transport issues for discussion and debate

Road user charging, particularly London wide, would change travel behaviour and tackle congestion and pollution, but could be a regressive tax favouring those who can pay, penalise those who need a car or those lacking good public transport and adding costs to commerce.

Road user charging, particularly London wide (with higher charges during peak periods) would change culture and behaviour. As well as tackling congestion and pollution, this may well fit in with a current context: the loss of support for buses; competition on resources to fund mega schemes; and the Chancellor’s Autumn 2015 Spending Review which will reduce annual monies to TfL by £650m in next few years.

Furthermore, it is still in the current London Plan 2015 – para 6.39A: “…principle of road-user charging as a demand management tool may need to be examined”. Berlin City charges a fuel levy, hypothecated for transport improvements. . However, ‘road pricing’ is a regressive tax favouring the wealthier, penalises those who need a car for mobility and those lacking good public transport and adds costs to commerce. Nevertheless, potential instrument for routes/areas that must have traffic reduction, despite diversion consequences.

 

Efforts to mainstream cycling as a mode of choice are unambitious, partial or unsuitable to many cyclists and potential cyclists. A game-changing implementation strategy is needed. But current proposals, such as the cycle super highways, quiet ways and Mini – Hollands (cycle friendly low traffic areas) have yet to demonstrate critical mass take off.

Cycling network should be comprehensive (fine grained) and segregated covering all cycling needs and potentials, and not only super cycle highways, which are very high level. Quiet ways on the back streets are not being used and not achieving critical mass. The ambition should be to achieve a take-off in everyday ‘civilised continental style’ cycling. Modal share is only 2% now and the current aim is for 10-20% by 2040 which is not aspirational enough; TfL says that this could be achieved by 2025. Proportion of trips target should be reviewed given changing demography, ambitions and needs.                                     Therefore, the objective, policy and implementation should be to ‘normalise’ or ‘mainstream’ cycling as the mode of choice . This would require political & popular buy-in, behaviour and practice change. Consequently, it may be more appropriate to avoid numerical targets, but to require a transformational/game-changing implementation strategy that progressively builds up modal share for cycling.

Note that, presently, there are only 3 mini-Hollands proposals which are to be located in Outer London. They have 20% of trips as their target. Before rolling out to all 32 Boroughs, their suitability as an implementation mechanism should be evaluated.

 

 

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