London Mayor to reduce car parking to get more people on bikes

The Mayor of London press office has issued a press release headlined "Mayor to set out bold plans to shape London’s new housing and infrastructure around cycling."

The release has been issued ahead of the publication of the draft London Plan. This will require the doubling of cycling parking provision in many new developments. In addition, new housing and offices near public transport links will be required to be car-free. Sadiq Khan said it is "essential" London continues to reduce its reliance on cars.

Cycle usage has grown massively in London since the introduction of the congestion charge in 2003 – on the current trajectory, cycle use in central London during the morning peak will soon overtake use of private motor vehicles – and Transport for London expects this growth to continue. TfL’s new business plan for 2017–2023 estimates that cycle use will grow by another 45 percent

And the Mayor of London is increasingly recognising that increasing cycling levels can reduce traffic congestion. According to a new statistic from Transport for London the Cycle Superhighways are "moving five times more people per square metre than the main carriageway."

Khan’s draft London Plan, published later this week, will include new proposals to encourage Londoners out of their cars, and make cycling and walking an easier and more convenient alternative across the capital, said a statement.

As set out in his draft Transport Strategy, the Mayor wants to increase the proportion of trips in London made on foot, by cycle or using public transport to 80 per cent by 2041, compared to 64 per cent now, meaning an average of 3 million fewer car journeys in London each day.

The Mayor’s Healthy Streets Approach will be at the core of the draft London Plan, which will put new requirements on developers to reduce the dominance of vehicles and prioritise more active transport in creating inclusive, safe and accessible streets across London.

In many parts of London, the level of cycle parking required outside shops will be doubled. Cycle parking requirements for new office developments will increase significantly in areas of London where demand for cycle parking is high, or which have the most potential for cycling growth. Cycle parking in some parts of outer London will be doubled to match levels required in central and inner London

The requirements for long-stay cycle parking for student accommodation will double from one space per two bedrooms to one-to-one provision, so all students can own a bike if they want to

Housing developments in the parts of London that are best connected by public transport will now be expected to be car-free, with no parking provided, other than for disabled people. Residential car parking will no longer be differentiated by unit size, meaning that the amount of parking allowed will not increase as unit sizes increase

Office developments in central and inner London – the areas best served by public transport – will no longer provide any commuter or visitor parking, other than for disabled people and for essential delivery and servicing purposes

Parking standards will be significantly tightened, with less provision in many areas, particularly in the most accessible parts of central and inner London and town centres, said the Mayor’s press statement. Instead there will be wide-ranging requirements for developments to adhere to the key principles of the Healthy Streets Approach. 

Alongside the London Plan, the Mayor is working with TfL and the boroughs to deliver a London-wide network of cycle routes, with new routes and improved infrastructure to tackle barriers to cycling. The Mayor’s aim is for 70 per cent of Londoners to live within 400 metres of a high quality, safe cycle route by 2041. The Mayor’s recent Strategic Cycling Analysis outlined the 25 corridors in London with the greatest potential for new cycling routes. These corridors spread from Brentford to Heathrow in the west, to Dagenham Dock to Ilford in the east, Highgate to North Finchley in the north, and Streatham to Oval in the south.

Khan said:

“To secure the future health and prosperity of our city, we need to be bolder in encouraging people to reduce their reliance on cars. It’s essential for dealing with congestion as London’s population grows, and crucial for reducing our toxic air pollution emissions.

“My draft London Plan will set out how I want to transform how London’s infrastructure works, making cycling and walking a safe and convenient alternative for millions more journeys every day. If you buy or rent a home in London and make regular journeys to the work or shops, I want to see safe and secure cycle parking available for every journey, across all parts of the city. For too long our housing and infrastructure has been built solely around the car.

“Currently only around a third of Londoners do enough walking and cycling each day to stay healthy. Reshaping our city around walking, cycling and public transport is essential for getting more Londoners active, but will also improve our quality of life and the environment for everyone.”

Tom Bogdanowicz, Senior Policy and Development Officer at the London Cycling Campaign, said:

“We applaud the Mayor’s commitment to use the London Plan to keep an expanding London moving, clean up its air and improve Londoners’ health, by reducing car dependence and investing in walking, cycling and public transport. We particularly welcome the Mayor’s targets to nearly halve the proportion of trips made by private motor cars, ensure the majority of Londoners live near to a safe, high-quality cycle route, and provide improved levels of cycle parking, including proper provision for riders with disabilities.”

Matt Winfield, London Director for Sustrans, said:

“Cycling is already the fastest-growing choice for travel around the capital and making sure new development plays its part in making it easier, safer and more convenient is absolutely vital.

“With two in three journeys already made by foot, cycle or public transport, the Mayor’s plan should ensure that new developments reflect the way Londoners travel now and will do in the future.

“Planning more homes and offices close to stations will ensure that people moving in to London’s newest buildings can live without the need for a car. Planners and developers must make sure the streets around them are welcome places to walk or cycle, and that they connect into London’s new Superhighways and Quietways, so that more of us can safely cycle for our everyday needs.

“Cycle parking in new buildings has been woefully inadequate in meeting today’s demand let alone in the future. I welcome news that the new plan will start to address this.”

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