City Transport Strategy a major win on cycling

The City of London’s draft Transport Strategy, due for ratification by the Planning and Transportation Committee on 30 October, is quite a document.

You can read it in full here: http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/s102969/Draft%20TS%20Local%20Plan%20Sub%20091018%20combined.pdf

This is a visionary strategy that clearly puts walking, cycling and public transport at the top of the transport hierarchy, to both keep the City moving and also keep it globally competitive, as cities strive to attract the best talent by increasing the quality of urban spaces. It means that, like Waltham Forest and Enfield in outer London, the City is set to become a beacon of best practice on Healthy Streets, walking and cycling in London.

Hot on the heels of the bold and hugely successful Bank Junction scheme being made permanent, this document demonstrates political will and nous far in excess of its neighbours (such as Westminster Council). It also sends a strong signal to TfL and the Mayor of London who continue to roll out substandard Quietways whilst falling behind on delivering the tripling of protected space promised to LCC’s #signforcycling campaign.

The City is set to be a byword for cycling. But unless Sadiq takes urgent action, the rest of London won’t be.

The key edited highlights:

The image above is the proposed core cycle network that, when complete, will be either on streets with less than 150 motor vehicle movements in its peak hour (which is broadly in line with LCC’s policy on motor traffic volumes of less than 2,000 Passenger Car equivalent Units or PCUs daily), or with 2 metre wide protected cycle tracks (with a minimum “effective width” of 1.5m) per direction of travel.

Nearly every door in the City will be within 250m of the core network. The other streets in the City, i.e. those not on the core cycle network will by 2040 (one year before the key targets in the current Mayor’s Transport Strategy) have fewer than 150 motor vehicles per hour.

Half of all streets – the side streets mostly, not the core cycling network – will be “pedestrian priority” – these will limit access to motor vehicles, likely removing through vehicle access. Any cycle bans will be on a case by case basis, where pedestrian footfall is expected to be huge, and widths are too narrow.

By 2024, the entire City will be subject to a 15mph speed limit. And motor traffic is expected to be reduced 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2044. Motorised freight traffic will be cut by 30% by 2044, and likely facing peak-time bans – it’ll be replaced by consolidation centres and last mile walking and cycling deliveries.

The City also proposes extensive safety measures, including a hit list of its worst junctions to achieve “Vision Zero” – no fatalities or serious injuries on its roads – by 2040.

The City also intends to push government and the Mayor of London on commitments for issues beyond its control. It will support for British Cycling’s “Turning the Corner” campaign for national legislation to require all traffic to “give way at turn” on our roads. This would vastly simplify the design of most junctions to be better for walking and cycling.

Regarding the Mayor, the City expects commitments in the next election manifesto for both a central London Zero Emissions Zone and smart road-user pricing as a successor to the congestion charge. If the Mayor doesn’t deliver in the next term, the City is going to implement both without him.