Mayor of London looks for more car free development

Sadiq Khan’s draft London Plan, being published soon, will include new proposals to encourage Londoners out of their cars, doubling cycle parking requirements and forcing more developments to be car free.

As the Mayor sets out his vision for what London should look like over the coming decades, 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 despite growth in population.

The Mayor says his Healthy Streets Approach will be at the core of the draft London Plan, which will put new requirements on developers “prioritise more active transport in creating inclusive, safe and accessible streets across London”. The Mayor says his 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, and that 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.

The Mayor’s draft London Plan will propose doubling the level of cycle parking required outside shops in some areas, and increasing cycle parking requirements for new office developments 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 include Brentford to Heathrow in the west, and Highgate to North Finchley in the north.

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.”

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