Mayor sets out plans for new London housing and office developments near public transport links to be car-free

 
Rebecca Smith
The mayor wants to bring down the number of car journeys in the capital by three million a day
The mayor wants to bring down the number of car journeys in the capital by three million a day (Source: Getty)

Mayor Sadiq Khan has said today that any new housing and office developments near public transport links should be car-free, with no parking other than for disabled people.

The plans will be set out in detail in his latest draft London plan to be published this week.

The move is part of wider efforts to cut down the capital's reliance on cars, as Khan looks to reduce the number of car journeys in the capital by three million a day.

Khan said: "For too long our housing and infrastructure has been built solely around the car."

Read more: London's T-Charge: The world's 'toughest emission standard' starts today

The plan calls for a doubling of cycling parking provision in many new developments, while parking provided will be required to support electric or ultra-low emission vehicles too.

The mayor previously set out in his draft transport strategy ambitions to bolster the number of trips in London made on foot, by cycling, or using public transport, to 80 per cent by 2041, compared to 64 per cent now.

That will mean an average of three million fewer car journeys a day, according to the mayor's office.

Some of the measures in the mayor's draft plan:
  • Doubling the level of cycle parking required outside shops across some parts of London
  • Upping 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.
  • The requirements for long-stay cycle parking for student accommodation will double from one space per two bedrooms to one-to-one provision
  • 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 - so the amount of parking permitted won't rise as unit sizes increase
  • Office developments in central and inner London will no longer provide any commuter or visitor parking, other than for disabled people and for essential delivery and servicing purposes

Khan 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.

He added: "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."

But Conservative member of the London Assembly, Andrew Boff, said the proposals were short-sighted: "Car-free developments may work in Zone 1, but the mayor clearly has no idea what it’s like living in outer London."

He added:

These rules will mean fewer parking spaces at family homes. Does he realise that not every baby can be transported by bike?

With this and a T-Charge that hammers motorists without improving air quality, Sadiq Khan is proving himself to be the most anti-car mayor London has seen.

The efforts to shift Londoners away from cars also come as the capital battles significant air quality troubles. Five days into 2017, London exceeded its air pollution limits for the whole of the year.

Last month, the T-Charge came into force - a heavy charge on older, more polluting vehicles entering central London.

Vehicles in the area need to meet minimum exhaust emission standards or drivers will have to pay a daily £10 charge on top of the congestion charge.

Read more: Transport for London blames Brexit for surprise fall in passenger numbers

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