Bold vision for London's roads and streets includes roofing over arterial roads to reconnect severed communities
The Mayor's Roads Task Force has set out a bold new vision for the future of London's roads and streets, to ensure the capital can cope with major population growth, support jobs and thousands of new homes, while remaining one of the most attractive, vibrant, accessible and competitive world cities.
Transport for London (TfL) has welcomed the report, and has set out plans to deliver 21st century roads and streets with a new overarching strategy for London's roads and streets to tackle congestion, support economic growth and transform walking and cycling.
"We'll now work with partners, including London's boroughs, to turn this vision into reality and deliver more reliable road journeys, safer, more attractive streets and town centres, and to transform the environment for walking and cycling," says London's Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy CBE.
Every Londoner, business and visitor is affected by what happens on the city's streets and roads. 80 per cent of all trips made by people and 90 per cent of all goods moved in London every day are on roads.
Streets also account for 80 per cent of London's public spaces. With London's population set to rise by a further 1.7 million to around 10 million by 2031, the demands on London's roads and streets from all users is only set to grow.
Over the past year, the RTF has studied the challenges facing London's roads and the best examples of street management and urban design across the globe.
It recognises that major improvements have been delivered in recent years, but calls on London to be bolder and embrace innovative solutions in future, at both the local and strategic, city-wide level.
Increasingly, successful world cities are being measured on the environmental and design quality of their public space.
The RTF calls for major investment to support not just the efficient and reliable movement of people and goods, but high quality roads, public spaces and revitalised high streets to improve the liveability of the capital and ensure it remains attractive and competitive among world cities.
The RTF's bold new approach includes:
• A world class public realm and re-imagined iconic streets and places, for example London Bridge, Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road and King's Cross and in high streets, new developments and quarters across the Capital
• Roofing over arterial roads to create new surface space, reconnecting severed communities, while providing for strategically important freight and business traffic
• Changing the way goods and services are delivered, for example shifting HGVs and freight out of peak hours as seen during the London 2012 Games and switching deliveries to vans, bikes or powered two wheelers
• Embracing 'next generation' travel demand, to encourage a greater shift to more sustainable modes such as walking, cycling and powered two wheelers
• Efficient road links and tackling junction 'pinch points', which will support businesses, including tradesmen and small businesses reliant on vans, as well as access to suppliers and markets
• Even greater use of intelligent systems and technology, to reduce delays at traffic signals, smooth traffic flows and provide road users with the best possible real-time information to help plan journeys
• Enhanced road links and connectivity including new river crossings, to support new developments and unlock thousands of new homes
• Smarter charging for the use of road space, including tolling for new infrastructure
• New capacity for sustainable modes, including bridges for walking and cycling and more dedicated lanes
• More area-wide 20mph zones, to improve liveability and safety
• High levels of accessibility across transport modes, including recognising the role of the car particularly in outer London
• Good quality parking, for cars, bikes, Blue Badge holders and powered two wheelers
• Village-style streets in new developments, with good access for buses, walking, cycling and freight and 'car-lite' development.
The RTF also called for studies to investigate the potential for tolled road tunnels to replace surface capacity that could be used to improve the public realm and public transport and to encourage more walking and cycling journeys, while also enabling a more efficient and reliable strategic road network.
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