London mayoral candidates urged to clean up air pollution

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is urging London mayoral candidates to put walking first to cut air pollution and reduce carbon emissions.

The charity has launched ‘A Manifesto for Walking’ ahead of the mayoral environment debate later this month.

The manifesto sets out ‘key asks’ of candidates, including funding for School Streets, more car-free zones, smart road pricing, and a default 20mph limit in built-up areas to achieve Vision Zero targets.

Living Streets wants mayoral candidates to pledge to:

  • Cut air pollution and reduce carbon emissions
  • Transform streets for all ages and all abilities
  • Make walking the natural choice for short journeys
  • End pedestrian deaths and injuries on roads

Figures show that road transport in London generates more than six million tonnes of CO2 per year. Meanwhile, pedestrians in London account for more than half (53%) of on-street fatalities and 35% of serious injuries.

Mary Creagh, chief executive, Living Streets said: “We will only tackle London’s dirty air by getting people to ditch the car for short journeys, especially the school run.

“Over the last year, people in London have rediscovered walking – the oldest, cheapest and greenest transport there is. But they are worried about speeding vehicles, pollution, cluttered pavements, and dangerous crossings.

“It doesn’t have to be like this. Through the Active Travel Fund and TfL’s Streetspace for London Plan, a movement for change is building. London’s next mayor should end road deaths, air pollution and improve Londoners’ health by standing up for pedestrians.”

13 April 2021