London has announced its first Walking Action Plan which aims to encourage an extra million walking trips every day and make London ‘the most walkable city in the world’.
The plan, unveiled by walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman, lays out how London will become a city where walking, for those who can, is the most obvious and attractive means of travel for all short trips.
The mayor’s office cited research showing that people are often put off walking because of concerns about road danger or their levels of physical fitness and the plan, which is supported by Public Health England, aims to specifically overcome these barriers.
Lilli Matson, director of transport strategy at Transport for London (TfL), said: ‘London’s first Walking Action Plan along with our commitment to deliver Healthy Streets will encourage even more Londoners of all ages and backgrounds to make walking their first choice for short trips.
‘This will help improve Londoners’ health, as well as air quality and traffic congestion, local businesses and the economy.’
Action will involve widening pedestrian crossings, prioritising walking in all new infrastructure schemes, new traffic signal technology to make pedestrian crossings safer, creating new ‘Active Travel Hubs’ at London Underground stations and targeting accessibility issues with action to de-clutter pavements.
There will also be a focus on primary schools with an aim to double the number of Gold accredited STARS schools, which champion healthy routes to school, and timed road closures, car free days and 20mph speed limits around schools.
The Mayor’s Transport Strategy aims to ensure that 80% of journeys made in London in 2041 are by foot, cycle or public transport.