John Dales, Director
A couple of months ago, our friends at the London Cycling Campaign asked us to help them prepare a report to identify a package of fully-evidenced actions designed to enable the decarbonisation of the capital’s streets over the next decade. The report – Climate Safe Streets – was published yesterday, and I commend it to you. Before diving in, you might want to read the press release.
The report lays out in detail the specific decisions that the next Mayor of London must take to meet the demands of the Climate Emergency; and it also sets out what London’s boroughs will need to do in response to the Climate Emergencies they have declared. It’s the result of considerable desktop research (section 11 refers to numerous reports and articles to help you explore further) and was informed by conversations with a range of experts and practitioners having different perspectives.
Although the Mayoral and local authority elections have been postponed, the need to reduce carbon emissions remains urgent. My latest article in Local Transport Today is entitled ‘When is an emergency not an emergency?’ and I’m glad to say it doesn’t seem to be behind the usual paywall. The answer, of course, is ‘When it’s a climate emergency’ – an answer, I should clarify, that’s based on observation and experience of what climate emergency declarers have so far done, not on actual need.
LCC’s Climate Safe Streets report focuses on action in eight priority areas where the Mayor of London and Borough Councils must work together to radically change the way Londoners move about the capital, for the better. As I say in my LTT article, there either is a Climate Emergency or there is not. Those who have declared that there is must rise to the challenge, and this report is a menu from which all items need to be chosen.
I’ll close with this from LCC’s press release:
“Right now, we face a global health crisis that risks derailing action to rapidly decarbonise our transport systems, which is an absolute necessity if we’re to avoid an even more terrifying future and even larger global crises. However, the same current pandemic also represents an opportunity to reimagine how London works, shift away from our most unsustainable habits and reshape the capital to be healthier and more sustainable going forward.”