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From LCC to London MP candidates

London’s next MPs, please support active travel if you're elected July 4…


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From London, with love…

We are writing to all the main candidates to be the next MP in every London constituency, highlighting the need for our next crop of MPs to do two things for London and the country in the next Parliament after 4 July and the general election.

Below, we paraphrase the issues from the template letter our volunteers are adapting and sending to prospective MPs…

1. Recognise the importance of active travel, support it, be bold and brave.

London’s Mayor was recently re-elected for a historic third term based partly on his approach to reducing unnecessary car use, decarbonising transport and supporting active travel. There is a clear cross-London mandate for MPs to be progressive on these issues.

That means, supporting the Mayor’s promise of a Net Zero city by 2030 and a ‘Vision Zero’ city where serious road collisions are eliminated. To achieve either or both, that will mean truly bold and brave politics – accelerating the delivery of walking/wheeling and cycling schemes and reducing unnecessary car use in the capital.

We’d like to see London and other cities in the UK go beyond London’s current Vision Zero target of 2041 to match the Net Zero target of 2030 – again, this will mean moving faster and being bolder on road danger reduction, with innovative and safer junction designs rolled out quicker, unblocking the logjams inside transport authorities such as TfL and a greater focus on roads transport from the police.

It will also mean the Mayor and every London borough finishing the ‘Strategic Cycling Network’ by 2028 (the current target of 2041 is too far off for Net Zero). A high-quality network of safe cycle routes is what helps far more Londoners and far more diverse Londoners, to cycle. To achieve this the Mayor will need more transport funding, with more of it ringfenced for walking/wheeling and cycling.

2. Fund London, and active travel, to deliver and use London as a leader.

For the Mayor to deliver his targets, Parliament needs to step up with not just proper funding for London, and a shift away from roadbuilding to active travel schemes nationally – with long-term funding settlements, it also needs to use lessons learned from London for other urban and suburban areas.

For that, Parliament should work with the Mayor and other ‘metro’ regions to rapidly change the policy frameworks holding back roads transport innovation. Instead of pushing a ‘Plan for Drivers’ and transport bills that focus on ‘culture wars’, MPs must focus on policies that help city residents shift modes, decarbonise and move around safely – from young kids independently travelling to school to older people pootling round on ebikes.

London has already embraced cycling – with a mode share now just below 5% and journeys daily equivalent to a third of the tube. But to enable far more people and a far wider range of people to cycle we need a lot more doing – just as we do with walking, wheeling and public transport. That’s how we hit our targets for road danger, mode shift and carbon reduction.

So we need funding and support. But more, if London gets such support, then it can, as it already is doing, represent a toolkit and approach other metro regions can use. And that’s a national issue London MPs should be supporting after July 4.

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