uge reductions in poisonous air in London had been revealed at present – alongside an enormous enhance within the variety of individuals strolling and biking for the reason that begin of the pandemic.
The variety of Londoners residing in areas the place the quantity of nitrogen dioxide exceeds authorized limits has fallen by 94 per cent, from two million in 2016 to 119,000 in 2019/20, the annual Journey in London report reveals at present.
That is stated to be largely attributable to low-emission bus zones, which require cleaner automobiles for use in air pollution hotspots, and the launch of the ultra-low emission zone in central London in February final yr.
Alex Williams, director of metropolis planning at Transport for London, stated: “The size of change is kind of phenomenal.
“I battle to consider any public coverage initiative that has delivered that scale of change on this period of time.”
In the present day’s report says that the proportion of journeys being walked or cycled in London elevated from 29 per cent between January and March this yr to 46 per cent between April and June, and 37 per cent between July and September.
There was a fall in commuter biking as Londoners labored from dwelling, however the whole variety of bike journeys elevated attributable to an enormous leap in leisure biking, one of many few permitted types of train firstly of the pandemic, and the great summer season climate.
The proportion of journeys made by non-public transport additionally elevated, from 38 per cent between January and March, to 45 per cent between March and June.
The affect of the primary lockdown was seen most dramatically on the Underground, with passenger numbers falling to only three per cent of regular demand within the days following the primary lockdown on March 23.
About 55 miles of recent or upgraded cycle lanes have been constructed or are underneath building, that means that just about 18 per cent of Londoners now reside inside 400m of the London cycle community.
Beneath the phrases of TfL’s second Covid bailout from the Authorities, TfL has to spend at the very least £75m on strolling and biking schemes throughout the capital over the subsequent six months, with an extra £20m from the Division for Transport’s Lively Journey Fund to be given to the boroughs through TfL.
Helen Cansick, head of streetspace supply at TfL, stated: “This new knowledge exhibits simply how necessary strolling and biking have been in serving to Londoners keep wholesome and protected.
“That’s why it’s essential that we proceed to spend money on our Streetspace programme to assist strolling and biking, making certain that the capital can get well from the pandemic as a more healthy and extra sustainable place for everybody.”