Retiming deliveries to take place outside peak hours, more 20mph zones and improved cycle infrastructure have all been included in a new plan to provide London with ’21st century roads and streets’.
The plan, from the Mayor’s Roads Task Force (RTF), looks to include some measures already announced, but goes further in an attempt to ensure London doesn’t grind to a halt with its rise in popularity (and population).
Those measures include:
- Changing the way good and services are delivered: shifting HGV and freight out of hours and switching delivery to vans, bikes or ‘powered two wheelers’ (one for the e-bike crowd maybe?).
- Embracing ‘next generation’ travel demand to encourage a greater shift to the likes of cycling.
- Enhanced road links and river crossings
- Smarter charging for road use, including tolls for new infrastructure.
- New capacity for sustainable modes: bridges and lanes for cycling
- More area-wide 20mph zones to improve safety and the oft overlooked ‘liveability’ factor
- Good quality parking: including for bikes
- Village-style streets in new developments – with cycling and ‘car-lite’ development factored in.
The RTF has ‘called for major investment’ to make this happen, which does suggest funds are not in place, but at least someone is talking the talk. Delivery will take an estimated £30bn over 20 years. At least. But this is a total that is ‘comparable to other world cities’ development, says RTF.
The proposals have been broadly welcomed by Transport for London (TfL), which would implement the plans. First it will ‘deliver improvements in the short-term’ and conduct ‘detailed studies to assess and develop’ the proposals.
Here’s the obligatory round of quotes:
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “I welcome the Roads Task Force report and the bold approach it proposes for London’s 21st century roads and streets. It is in tune with my 2020 Vision, our plans on cycling and for investment in London’s roads and streets.
“For this great city to retain its global pre-eminence, it is essential we continue to invest and have the courage and vision to develop and drive forward innovative solutions. This is a fantastic contribution and I look forward to working with partners, including those represented on the Roads Task Force, in taking many of these ideas forward.”
David Quarmby, Chairman of the RAC Foundation and a RTF member said: “This report is a remarkably successful attempt to deal head-on with the massive and conflicting demands for space on London’s roads and streets. Its ambitious vision to keep London’s traffic moving while improving the quality of our public spaces for living, working and shopping, and promoting greater use of sustainable modes of travel will require political determination and substantial investment, comparable to that already committed for London’s public transport. London’s road users – whether in cars, buses, vans, lorries, on bicycles, motorbikes and those who walk – should settle for nothing less.”
David Leam, Infrastructure Director at London First, and a RTF member said: “On rail, London is planning for future growth with bold projects like Crossrail 2. We now need to be similarly visionary for London’s roads. With road congestion in London costing the UK economy £4bn a year, we need a radical new plan to keep London moving, including new road links and tunnels. Only in this way can we create the world class public spaces and revitalised high streets that will ensure London remains a globally competitive and attractive city.”
Dr Alice Maynard, founder of Future Inclusion and a RTF member said: “The changes proposed by the Roads Task Force will have a profound impact and have the potential to improve the lives of all Londoners. The proposals on governance, in particular, will ensure that needs of all Londoners are addressed, as we invest and deliver improvements to our roads, streets and public spaces at the local and city-wide level.”
Iain Simmons, Chair of the London Technical Advisors Group (LoTAG) and a RTF member said: "This report and the vision that it sets out provides a wonderful opportunity for the Boroughs and the City of London to work with the Mayor and Transport for London to shape, articulate and deliver world class streets throughout London. The boroughs are fully aware of the living and moving needs of their local communities. This report, with its ten recommendations, not only identifies what needs to be done but also identifies how improving the governance and processes can play an important part in delivering change. “For the Boroughs, the publication of this report is the start of a new way of working together towards a shared vision.”
London’s Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE said: “We welcome the Roads Task Force’s vision, as it is one we share. It rightly recognises that delivering the vision requires major and sustained investment in London’s road and public transport networks and we will continue to work with partners to make the case and develop innovative funding solutions.
“We’ll now work with partners, including London’s boroughs, to turn this vision into reality and deliver more reliable road journeys, safer, more attractive streets and town centres, and to transform the environment for walking and cycling.”