Mayor plans bold new housing & infrastructure around cycling in London

28 November 2017
  • Draft London Plan to require a doubling of cycling parking provision in many new developments
  • New housing and offices near public transport links to be required to be car-free 
  • Parking provided will be required to support electric or ultra-low emission vehicles
  • Mayor of London says it’s ‘essential’ London continues to reduce its reliance on cars

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

As the Mayor sets out his vision for what London should look like over the coming decades, bold new requirements will be put on developers and councils to increase the proportion of cycle parking around new shops and homes, with car-free developments being the starting point for new sites that are well-connected by public transport.

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. The Mayor’s plans will help to create a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous city, with Londoners doing at least the 20 minutes of active travel each day that they need to stay healthy.  Achieving this mode shift target is vital if London is to grow in a way that does not undermine the city’s health, environment and economic competitiveness.

Some of the measures to be announced in the Mayor’s draft London Plan include:

·         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

·         Any parking that is provided will be required to support electric or ultra-low emission vehicles to meet the Mayor’s target for carbon free travel in 2050. All new taxi spaces will be required to have active electric charging points, and the Plan supports hydrogen refuelling or rapid charging infrastructure for essential freight, servicing and construction vehicles.

In general, 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. 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.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, 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.” 

Dr Yvonne Doyle, London regional director at Public Health England, said:

“By applying the Healthy Streets Approach to the whole planning system, the Mayor’s new London Plan is taking another important step towards tackling London’s health problems. It is vital for the health and wellbeing of Londoners to increase opportunities for active travel, with many more journeys being made on foot, by cycle and using public transport, and it’s great to see that with this ambitious new London Plan the Mayor is continuing his commitment to making London a healthier place.”

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.”

Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at Transport for London, said: “Good transport is vital to a growing and prosperous city. With more people expected to be living, working and visiting London in the coming decades, it’s vital that we take action now to embed a Healthy Streets approach, as well as deliver new transport infrastructure such as Crossrail 2. By planning now, we can ensure that Londoners are able to move around the city in a healthy and sustainable way, and meet our ambition for 80 per cent of journeys being made by walking, cycling and public transport by 2041.”

Notes to editors

London’s population is set to expand from 8.7 million to 10.5 million over the next 25 years, generating more than five million additional trips each day across the transport network. If no further action is taken to reduce congestion, GLA figures show that by 2041, 3 days would be lost per person every year due to congestion on roads, and 50,000 hours would be lost to slower bus speeds in the morning peak every day.

Currently, more than 40 per cent of Londoners do not achieve the recommended 150 minutes of activity a week, and 28 per cent do less than 30 minutes a week. GLA analysis shows that if every Londoner walked or cycled for 20 minutes a day, it would save the NHS £1.7bn in treatment costs over the next 25 years. An average trip in London by car includes less than a minute of active travel, compared to 8-15 minutes by public transport, 17 minutes by foot or 22 minutes by bike.

Around Cycling provision, the Mayor’s draft London Plan also outlines the following:

·         Cycle parking and cycle parking areas should allow easy access and provide facilities for disabled cyclists. This could include identifying and reserving specific spaces which provide step-free cycle parking opportunities for people using adapted cycles, as well as providing facilities for other non-standard cycles such as tricycles, cargo bicycles and bicycles with trailers, for both long-stay and short-stay parking.

·         At university campuses and schools, cycle parking should be located in close proximity to the entrances of all buildings to provide convenience and choice for users. For nurseries and primary schools, an appropriate proportion of cycle parking provision may be met through scooter parking. Nurseries should meet the standard through an appropriate mix of long and short-stay parking to cater for staff, those dropping off children and children’s cycle and scooter parking.

·         Staff cycle parking should be suitable for long-stay parking in terms of location, security and protection from the elements and inclement weather. In places of employment, supporting facilities are recommended, including changing rooms, maintenance facilities, lockers (at least two per three long-stay spaces are recommended) and shower facilities (at least one per ten long-stay spaces is recommended). Accessible facilities for disabled cyclists should also be provided. 

The Mayor has pledged to freeze all TfL fares for the four years of his mayoral term, making public transport a more affordable and attractive option for Londoners. The Mayor has also introduced the ‘Hopper’ bus fare which allows passengers to change buses within an hour, without paying an additional fare. 100 million bus journeys have already benefited from the ‘Hopper’ fare.   

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