New transport strategy for London's business district plans to cut vehicle use by half, and introduce 15mph speed limit
The City of London is aiming to reduce motor traffic by half within the next 25 years and make the capital's financial centre Britain’s first large-scale zero emission zone.
The city and county, which is known as the Square Mile and contains the heart of London's business district, has developed its first long-term transport strategy as a plan for future investment following a public consultation process.
Chris Hayward, the City’s planning and transportation chief, said that the plan would “future-proof this world-class, growing business and culture centre.”
More than 500,000 people work in the area, and Hayward said that 93% commute in via public transport. The strategy therefore will put a priority on pedestrians, including the introduction of a City-wide 15mph speed limit, subject to the approval of the Department for Transport.
The plan is also intended to substantially reduce motor traffic, with the target of cutting traffic by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2044. To do that, the City will introduce a range of measures, including a “congestion charge that’s fit for purpose”.
The City's aim to develop Britain’s first large-scale zero emission zone will begin with smaller-scale zero emission zones covering the Eastern City Cluster, and Barbican and Golden Lane areas.
No specifics on how either the congestion charge or the zero emission zone would work have been given yet. They would be separate from the current London Congestion Charge and Ultra-Low Emission Zone that are enforced by the London Assembly.
There are also plans to reduce the number of delivery vehicles in the area, through the introduction of timed access and loading restrictions, and the introduction of off-site consolidation areas, where deliveries are grouped together so they can be made in fewer trips.
Hayward said: “Once finalised, this Transport Strategy will be transformative in ensuring that the Square Mile remains a healthy, accessible and safe commercial and cultural centre and a great place to live, work, and visit in the years to come.”
The Strategy is still being finalised before a last consultation process begins. It could be approaved in early 2019.
The City of London is governed by the City of London Corporation, and the strategy will only apply within its 1.12 square mile area. It is one of the 33 districts that form Greater London, which is overseen by the Mayor of London and London Assembly.
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