The link between action on cycling and action on climate should be very clear by now – but our job is to make it clearer in politicians’ and officers’ minds via our “Climate Safe Streets” campaigning. Action on cycling is vital, because no other alternative to the motor car has the potential to grow as rapidly as needed, nor can be done so so cheaply. Every transport and climate expert going rightly puts cycling as incredibly high prirority.
Just as we won’t get to zero carbon by simply embracing electric cars and hydrogen lorries, we also won’t get our city cycling and we won’t beat the climate crisis with just cycle tracks and hire bikes. It isn’t enough to just make cycling better – we need cars to not be the default everyone reaches for easily as their primary mode of transport. We need many more Londoners to be able to live without owning private cars and we need to make sure cars are only used when needed while also making cycling, walking and public transport far more convenient, comfortable and safe modes for a wider range of people.
We ran a Climate Safe Streets campaign during the run-up to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s re-election in 2021 (postponed from 2020 by the Covid crisis). We’re now talking about Climate Safe Streets in the context of the local council elections in May 2022. Nearly every London borough has acknowledged the climate crisis, with many putting into place action plans to rapidly move to zero carbon. And the Mayor pledged to get London to zero carbon by 2030 – he’ll need every borough to pull its weight to achieve that. The leaders of each London borough for the next four years will pretty much determine whether that borough, and therefore London, will pull their weight – by 2026, any borough miles off track on climate emissions and action will really struggle to catch up.
That’s why we’re going to be asking all borough leaders and their key rivals to commit to doing so in 2022 – to take rapid, bold and serious action on climate emissions now, not in four years time, particularly in relation to the area of emissions they have most control over, their streets. Each borough leader will have an individual set of pledges to consider and commit to, as each borough faces unique challenges and opportunities to shift.
To help our borough groups and politicians reach zero carbon fast, and to ensure LCC’s campaign is full of energy, we’re now recruiting “Climate Safe Streets Champions” for each borough. You can read more about those who’ve already signed up, and sign up to be one yourself, here.
The reports below represent an expert take on what is most needed to most rapidly deliver carbon emissions reductions in your borough, and across London – our two reports represent a blueprint for decarbonising cities such as London in the teeth of the Covid crisis, but with a dwindling handful of years in which to take most actions.
Become A Member And Support Our Work
LCC is highly effective because it's supported by more than 10,000 members. If you cycle in London please consider joining today. You'll be supporting our work and you'll get a huge range of benefits too.