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Policy T2 Healthy streets


  1. Development proposals and Development Plans should deliver patterns of land use that facilitate residents making shorter, regular trips by walking or cycling.
  2. Development Plans should:
    1. promote and demonstrate the application of the Mayor’s Healthy Streets Approach to: improve health and reduce health inequalities; reduce car dominance, ownership and use, road danger, severance, vehicle emissions and noise; increase walking, cycling and public transport use; improve street safety, comfort, convenience and amenity; and support these outcomes through sensitively designed freight facilities.
    2. identify opportunities to improve the balance of space given to people to dwell, walk, cycle, and travel on public transport and in essential vehicles, so space is used more efficiently and streets are greener and more pleasant.
  3. In Opportunity Areas and other growth areas, new and improved walking, cycling and public transport networks should be planned at an early stage, with delivery phased appropriately to support mode shift towards active and public transport travel. Designs for new or enhanced streets must demonstrate how they deliver against the ten Healthy Streets Indicators.
  4. Development proposals should:
    1. demonstrate how they will deliver improvements that support the ten Healthy Streets Indicators in line with Transport for London guidance.
    2. reduce the dominance of vehicles on London’s streets whether stationary or moving.
    3. be permeable by foot and cycle and connect to local walking and cycling networks as well as public transport.

Streets account for 80 per cent of London’s public spaces. High quality streets are fundamental to the character and efficient functioning of the city, and play a fundamental role in moving people around safely, improving public realm and providing spaces for people to come together. Successful streets are inclusive and provide for the various requirements of their users.

This Plan supports the implementation of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy which aims to deliver the infrastructure and public realm required to significantly increase levels of walking, cycling and public transport use throughout London. It aims to make the city more accessible and welcoming to all, so that every Londoner can be active every day, creating a healthier city, inclusive of people from all backgrounds, ensuring inequalities are reduced.

The Healthy Streets Approach is an evidence-based approach to improve health and reduce health inequalities, which will help Londoners use cars less, and walk, cycle and use public transport more. It supports the delivery of the Mayor’s aim that by 2041 all Londoners will be able to undertake at least the 20 minutes of active travel each day needed to stay healthy. It also requires better management of freight so the impact of moving goods and delivering services on London’s streets is lessened. To deliver the Healthy Streets Approach, changes are required at strategic, network and street level.

Londoners’ direct interaction with the Healthy Streets Approach will be through the streets they use every day. The Healthy Streets Approach aims to bring about positive changes to the character and use of the city’s streets. High-quality, pleasant and attractive environments with enough space for dwelling, walking, cycling and public transport use must be provided. The dominance of vehicles should be reduced by using design to ensure slower vehicle speeds and safer driver behaviour. Measures which improve Londoners’ experience of individual streets, including greening, to encourage them to live active lives should be embedded within new development.

How the city’s streets are planned and used at a larger scale also has a big impact on individual streets around London. The Mayor will work with partners to deliver appealing local street environments and to plan the capital at the network level so that it functions better. This should be supported through development which facilitates opportunities to improve route choice and capacity for walking and cycling as well as linking to bus networks. As part of this, the Mayor will work with the freight industry, its customers and London’s boroughs to develop more creative solutions to managing freight and deliveries. This will include considering different uses of London’s streets across the day so that more street space is available for walking, cycling and leisure purposes, while ensuring shops and services continue to thrive.

London’s rapid growth means people need to travel more efficiently to keep the city functioning and to maintain and improve the quality of life for residents. Strategic-level planning to ensure walking, cycling and public transport are the first choices for travel is the only way to achieve this. Developing new housing around stations and improving connections to town centres will mean more people have the things they need within walking or cycling distance, while destinations further afield will be easily accessible by public transport.

The Healthy Streets Approach uses 10 indicators that reflect the experience of being on streets. These indicators are based on evidence of what is needed to create a healthy, inclusive environment in which people choose to walk, cycle and use public transport. New developments and public realm schemes should deliver improvements against the Healthy Streets Indicators.

The Mayor has a long-term vision to reduce danger on the streets so that no deaths or serious injuries occur on London’s streets. This Vision Zero will be achieved by designing and managing a street system that accommodates human error and ensures impact levels are not sufficient to cause fatal or serious injury. This will require reducing the dominance of motor vehicles and targeting danger at source.