Matt Winfield, London Director for Sustrans shares the first annual review from Sustrans in London.
“ Our vision is for London to be a healthy, clean and prosperous place for us all to live, where walking and cycling are the easiest and most obvious choice for short journeys. ”
I’m very proud to say that in 2016 we helped provide solutions to some of the biggest challenges London faces and made investment from our supporters go further. There have been a huge range of successes to celebrate, from the delivery of complex large scale infrastructure projects like the traffic-free Millwall path on Quietway 1, to our work with nearly 74,000 students, parents and teachers in London’s schools. Almost all this work has been delivered in partnership with Transport for London (TfL) and London Boroughs.
With the city’s population due to rise to 10 million by 2031 we simply have to choose transport solutions that take less space, improve air quality and help more Londoners to get active.
We are fortunate in the capital that London benefits from the Mayor of London’s investment in cycling and walking. And looking forward, the Mayor’s desire to create Healthy Streets across the city is hugely welcome, but the scale of the challenges ahead cannot be overlooked. Every year 9,500 Londoners die early as a result of our toxic air pollution. Nearly two-thirds of Londoners are overweight or obese and, by 2041, London will have absorbed the equivalent population of Birmingham and Glasgow. Boosting everyday cycling and walking is critical to overcome these challenges and every effort must be made by everyone involved to make our city a safer, better and more accessible place to walk or cycle.
“ Sustrans’ innovative and creative approach is the catalyst to a change in attitudes towards active travel in some of the most challenging areas in the borough, empowering individuals to make healthier and sustainable choices for their lives. ”
Projects in London
We’re pleased to be ahead of the Healthy Streets curve, having successfully delivered projects from Lambeth to Barking and Dagenham and Kingston upon Thames that make it safer, easier and more pleasant for people to walk and cycle. These projects put people at their heart and can make a life-changing difference. And we’re changing industry practice through our collaborative work with communities, putting local people at the heart of shaping change where they live.
We've also been working hard to make travel easier for Londoners with bold innovative solutions for London like the flagship Bike Bridge in East London and developing a substantially segregated cycle Superhighway on London’s main roads.
Achievements in 2016
Our first London review gives us the chance to reflect on what has been achieved in a short space of time and thank the incredible staff, volunteers and partners involved. There is still so much more to be done to make cycling and walking a real choice for all Londoners, helping to keep London’s economy growing, clean the air and improve our health. But together we are moving forward.
Key achievements with our partners in 2016:
- 25km of Quietways delivered (as TfL’s delivery agent) with London Boroughs
- 67% increase in uptake of walking and cycling where active travel projects were delivered
- Over 8,000 Londoners engaged in redesigning healthier local streets
- 115% increase in everyday cycling to school where Bike It projects were delivered
- Worked with 10 schools in Lambeth to challenge poor air quality
- 500 hours of volunteers’ time dedicated to National Cycle Network upkeep in London
- Delivery of feasibility study for new Bike Bridge in East London, adopted by Mayor of London