4:30 PM March 7, 2022
The council elections in May will be a vital point for London tackling the climate crisis.
While there’s a lot being said, rightly, about home insulation and energy, the thing boroughs can most easily impact is transport emissions. Motor vehicles are the largest single source of London’s emissions – the one that’s not going down – and councils control 95% of roads.
If our councils are not bold now it’ll be too late to get to zero carbon roads by 2030. Which is what’s needed, say experts, to avoid catastrophic climate change for our kids.
That’s why London Cycling Campaign’s borough groups are calling on the leaders of London councils to cut transport emissions fast and enable lots more walking and cycling. Because experts say electric cars will not cut it alone – we need to get over a quarter of all car journeys off roads and move away from oil.
Each borough needs to do different things to get to zero-carbon roads, so our Climate Safe Streets campaign asks different things of each leader.
Camden Cycling Campaign are asking the borough to: build 5+ km of protected cycle lanes each year to 2026; build 20 km of routes through quiet side streets and low traffic neighborhoods; build three low traffic neighborhoods a year, so most residential streets are in one by 2026; support the mayor in accelerating action across London.
By 2026 Haringey Cycling Campaign are asking for: three new physically protected and cross-borough cycle lanes (one on Green Lanes); low traffic neighborhoods covering 75% residential streets; “School Streets” for every school, and main road treatments for schools on them; a “vision zero” of no fatal and serious injuries on our roads, with 20mph limits and safer junctions; far more cycle training and cycle parking in residential streets, town centers and at stations.
Every London borough has similar asks. Because we either take the climate crisis really seriously now and enable people to ditch their cars, or we’ll be in real trouble in four years. So if you’re concerned about the climate, please consider carefully which candidates support bold action on climate, including getting loads more people out of cars and onto buses, cycling to school, and more, and which do not, before you vote. To learn more about the Climate Safe Streets in Haringey and Camden: lcc.org.uk/climate-safe-streets
Steve Prowse is a Climate Safe Streets champion for Camden Cycling Campaign and Ben House is coordinator for Haringey Cycling Campaign.