Living Streets is urging London mayoral candidates to ‘put walking first’ to tackle illegal levels of air pollution.
The campaign group, which describes itself as the UK charity for everyday walking, has launched A Manifesto for Walking ahead of the Mayoral Environment Debate next week and next month’s election.
The document sets out ‘key asks of candidates’, including funding for School Streets, which are closed to traffic at drop-off and pick-up times, more car-free zones, ‘smart road pricing’, and a default 20mph limit in built-up areas to achieve Vision Zero targets.
Living Streets said it wants mayoral candidates to pledge to:
- Cut air pollution and reduce carbon emissions
- Transform streets for all ages and all abilities
- Make walking the natural choice for short journeys
- End pedestrian deaths and injuries on roads.
Chief executive Mary Creagh said: ‘We will only tackle London’s dirty air by getting people to ditch the car for short journeys, especially the school run.
‘Over the last year, people in London have rediscovered walking – the oldest, cheapest and greenest transport there is. But they are worried about speeding vehicles, pollution, cluttered pavements, and dangerous crossings.
‘It doesn’t have to be like this. Through the Active Travel Fund and TfL’s Streetspace for London Plan, a movement for change is building. London’s next mayor should end road deaths, air pollution and improve Londoners’ health by standing up for pedestrians.’
Living Streets said that road transport in London generates more than six million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, with poor air quality contributing to 9,400 premature deaths annually, while pedestrians account for more than half (53%) of on-street fatalities and 35% of serious injuries in the capital.
The charity has recently launched manifestos for the mayoral elections in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, as well as for the Senedd in Wales