Towards a healthier, happier city

London Mayoral candidates should up the ambition for walking, wheeling and cycling.

Sustrans Manifesto London 2020

Sustrans is calling on all candidates running to be Mayor of London in May 2020 to be more ambitious in their plans to enable Londoners to walk, wheel and cycle around their city.

Sustrans’ manifesto proposals for London – an urgent need

We today outline three pledges with nine associated policies that mayoral candidates should adopt in their forthcoming offer to Londoners.

These pledges will accelerate the change London needs, for the benefit of all. An ambition to transform London into a more active, better connected, healthier, fairer city.

Manifesto for London 2020

Download the manifesto (pdf)


A group of people chatting and smiling in a residential area of London

Top five ways increasing walking and cycling will help London:

Tackle the climate emergency

The UK government and many local authorities have declared a climate emergency. London is becoming more susceptible to extreme weather events such as high summer temperatures. Londoners need to support measures which can immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike many solutions to this emergency, increased walking and cycling are simple, low-cost activities that can deliver emissions reductions today.

Improve the health of Londoners

If every Londoner walked or cycled for 20 minutes a day, it would save the NHS £1.7bn in treatment costs over the next 25 years. Londoners need to get active. Just 30% of Londoners walk or cycle for 20 minutes each day. Regular active travel can reduce the risk of many chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions.

Reduce congestion and support growth

With London’s population set to grow to 10.8 million by 2041, and nearly 400,000 more jobs set to be created in central London alone in the next twenty years, London will grind to a halt without huge increases in people walking, wheeling and cycling. Cycling takes up just a fifth of the space of a car, so is an excellent space-saving form of transport – and is affordable too.

Improve air quality

Toxic fumes from vehicles cause thousands of premature deaths every year and lead to young Londoners growing up with underdeveloped lungs and suffering from asthma. Road traffic contributes 60 per cent of particulate matter (PM) and 47 per cent of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in London. Particles of pollution from exhaust and tyres are small enough to get into our bloodstream.

Create vibrant, safe neighbourhoods for people

Creating places where people are prioritised over cars is critical to an area’s success as a place to live, work, enjoy and spend time. In many parts of London, people are deterred from socialising and playing on their streets, or allowing their children outside without them, for fear of being hit by a car of truck.

68 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in traffic collisions in London in 2018, and 196 children were seriously injured.

Improving our streets will improve the wellbeing of Londoners, reduce social exclusion by allowing everyone to access and enjoy public spaces, and create economically successful neighbourhoods where people want to live and businesses want to set up and invest.

Email us at or call us on 0207 017 2350 if you would like to talk to us about our manifesto.