The uncanny warm end to 2021 and start to 2022 should set alarm bells ringing. Road transport accounts for 20% of all emissions in the UK; higher here in London. Tackling our crowded roads is integral to developing healthy streets and encouraging more active travel (walking, scooting and cycling) and use of public transport.
Transport for London launched its Vision Zero project in 2018 with the aim of steadily reducing road deaths and serious injuries to zero in 2041 - creating a safer city which is inclusive, responds to climate change and is a great place to live. In 2020 96 people were killed and 2,974 seriously injured on London's roads and the police estimate that speed was a contributing factor in over 50% of collisions resulting in death or serious injury.
Oslo and Helsinki, while smaller than London, provide evidence that a Vision Zero approach works; in 2020 there were no deaths or serious injuries on Helsinki's roads and only one, although one too many, in Oslo. Both cities have worked hard to reduce the dominance and speed of vehicles on their streets and have embraced and enabled active travel and public transport.
Since the start of the pandemic, London has welcomed 100 LTNs which are a key enabler of safer streets as well as improved air quality. The case is clear for the roll-out of LTNs. I have yet to hear of any other sensible solutions which will deliver to Vision Zero and will address climate change in the time we have left to us. Ripping out LTNs is to put personal convenience beyond all other considerations and just isn't an option.
Eilidh is the founder of #inspiringsustainableislington and is passionate about protecting, sustaining and improving our environment.
The series, called "Nurture: The Environment and you – working together to protect and restore", was launched in December last year, with David Saddington, Head of International Nature Campaign COP26 at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as the keynote speaker.