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WLS response to Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy consultation

Below is the Wandsworth Living Streets response to the Mayor’s Draft Transport Strategy consultation issued on October 2, 2017, which leans heavily on the London Living Streets response (available at https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/what-you-can-do/campaigns/walking-cities-london#mts).  The Mayor’s Transport Strategy is due for publication early in 2018.

 

Dear Transport for London Consultations Team

Draft Mayoral Transport Strategy Consultation – Response from Wandsworth Living Streets

Wandsworth Living Streets is a voluntary organization of residents in the London Borough of Wandsworth.  We have been in existence since 2010. This is our response to TfL’s consultation on the Mayor’s Draft Transport Strategy (MTS).

We endorse the general expression of support, and particular and detailed positions, that London Living Streets has submitted to you. Attached is a Word version of their submission, for your information.

As a borough group, we would also like you to record the following important 3 points:

DELIVERY BY BOROUGHS: Getting Boroughs to play a more active part in implementing the MTS, once it is finalised and published next year

 We recognise of course that the boroughs manage most of London’s road network and have their own legal responsibilities in relation thereto. We worry, however, that some boroughs may, on occasion, prove reluctant to play a full and active part in implementing the new spirit and practical measures embodied in Mayoral Transport Strategy. We therefore urge TfL to make the fullest use possible of all opportunities to get boroughs to play their part in achieving the MTS’s overarching goal of mode shift away from reliance on the private car and towards Londoners using public transport, walking and cycling for journeys in London.

We urge TfL to use the following opportunities to encourage and persuade Boroughs to do their utmost in implementing the MTS.

1a. The LIP process: TfL needs to use this as a serious lever. Where boroughs propose schemes and expenditures that do not demonstrate adequate regard to the goals and policies of the MTS, TfL needs to send their LIP submissions back to them for further improvement.

1b. Liveable Neighbourhoods Scheme:  While it will be largely up to Boroughs to submit detailed proposals, it is essential that TfL rigorously assess them against the vision and policies of the MTS so that Liveable Neighbourhood schemes really deliver the MTS’s Healthy Streets intentions.

1c.Training Sessions for Borough Transport Planners and related senior officers:  The MTS is a huge document. It also incorporates many new ideas and new thinking in order to give walking and cycling a far higher profile in policy, budgetary and programme decisions. In our experience, there are senior Borough staff, sometimes of an older generation, who do not really ‘get’ the new, forward-looking thinking in transport planning that is enshrined in the MTS. We would urge TfL to set up a rolling orientation programme for Borough transport planning and engineering staff that takes them through the MTS’s new priorities, policies and programmes that boroughs are expected to implement.

TIME SCALE:  Especially re Improving London’s Air Quality:

 We welcome the measures contemplated. We recognise the possible political problems with having a more ambitious timetable for implementation. But the seriousness of London’s Air Quality problems in health terms is such that we urge the Mayor to incorporate a more ambitious timetable for implementing the rolling programme of measures proposed, and we also urge the Mayor to extend the relevant measures geographically across London, including local town centres and high streets as rapidly as possible.

3 BUDGETS ALLOCATIONS: for Walking:

 We note and welcome the significant budget allocations to segregated cycle routes in London. We acknowledge that there are often, but not always, complementary benefits from these measures for Londoners on foot. But we urge the Mayor to make serious budget allocations to adapt London’s public realm infrastructure in order to cope with the growing numbers of Londoners moving around on foot and to facilitate and encourage them to make more short trips on foot.

ENDS

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