Islington leads on Healthy Streets action says active travel coalition
Latest Healthy Streets Scorecard shows huge divergence in action among London boroughs on measures to improve streets during Covid crisis
Hackney and Camden follow closely behind Islington as the top-scoring London boroughs 1 in the 2021 London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard, published today, with Waltham Forest the top Outer London borough. The Scorecard is published alongside a new map showing all London’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, new and old.
The year up to March 2021 was a year of huge change on London’s streets, despite and because of the Covid crisis with many – but not all – boroughs urgently seeking to change streets to dramatically improve air quality, reduce road danger, boost active lifestyles, cut carbon emissions and enable social distancing.
But the latest Healthy Streets Scorecard results show that while some boroughs have implemented healthy streets measures at pace, others have failed to respond to London’s health, air pollution and climate crises. 2
For example, Hackney now has more than half of its street area (55%) that is appropriate for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood covered by LTNs. 3 In contrast, Croydon, Barking and Dagenham and Bexley all have under 5% of their suitable streets covered by these low traffic schemes.
The London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard sets out data to show the health of each borough’s streets according to nine indicators. It is produced by a coalition of transport, health, road safety and environment organisations: London Living Streets, CPRE London, Sustrans in London, RoadPeace, London Cycling Campaign, Future Transport London, Possible and Wheels for Wellbeing. They hope it helps councils and residents compare how well their borough is doing in relation to others and identify areas for action.
The Scorecard coalition said: “Top scoring councils demonstrate change is possible: where there’s a will, there’s a way.
“While traffic reduction schemes can be controversial, the last year has shown that where councils are determined, they can make a big difference for their residents and London. And this can be done relatively fast and cheaply as last year’s rapid rollout of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and School Streets showed.
“But while many London boroughs are forging ahead, some are still failing to take action, leaving their residents exposed to the dangers of rising congestion. London risks becoming a tale of two cities as a huge divergence in action emerges.”
The Healthy Streets Scorecard 2021, now in its third year, also shows that overall progress for London is too slow if the Mayor is to hit his targets on Londoners being more active, London being carbon neutral by 2030, and serious and fatal road casualties in the capital being reduced to zero by 2041.
The coalition said: “Despite a few high-profile schemes collapsing, more has been done than ever before and in more boroughs. But the current pace of change will need to be maintained, and boroughs that have faltered need now to move forward rapidly. The Mayor also needs to act urgently to protect Londoners’ health and safety by tackling traffic congestion, pollution and road danger on main roads.”
- Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Huge effort from some councils. Hackney now has 55% coverage in areas suitable for a LTN. Waltham Forest, Newham, Islington and Southwark are also delivering significant action. Bottom are Croydon, Barking and Dagenham and Bexley, all under 5%.
- 20mph Speed Limits
Strong action from Richmond, Merton, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea. 18 boroughs now have 70% or more borough-managed roads with 20mph speed limits. Bottom are Barnet and Bromley at 5%. Hillingdon, Bexley and Havering not much more.
- Controlled Parking
Five boroughs (including City) with 100% of streets controlled. Nine boroughs now over 80%. But Inner borough Lewisham lower than many Outer boroughs (21%) and too many boroughs doing little or nothing. Bromley bottom with 8%.
- Protected Cycle Tracks
Some boroughs showing the way like Waltham Forest (12%) and Enfield (11%) in installing segregated cycle track. 4 Of the 33 London local authorities, business district City tops the chart on this measure, with 21% of overall road length with protected tracks. But mainly very poor results all round. Kensington and Chelsea bottom with less than 1%.
- School Streets
Fantastic effort from many councils. Outer borough Merton tops the table with 41% of schools with traffic-free streets at arrival and departure times. Islington (40%) and Hackney (39%) not far behind. Bexley and Sutton bottom with 0%.
- We do not include the City of London in highest and lowest scores because its scores are not always comparable (this is because it is not primarily a residential borough and relates to the methodology we use). That said, we do reflect the action the City has taken in our commentary and we do include it in the average scores and in our charts, to give a complete picture.
- The London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard coalition wants London boroughs to implement these five key measures:
1. Borough-wide Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
2. A default 20mph speed limit on all borough and Transport for London controlled roads
3. Small-area controlled parking zones borough-wide
4. Protected cycle lanes on main roads
5. Traffic-free streets around all possible schools and safe walking and cycling routes to school.
- The London Low Traffic Neighbourhoods by borough map has been created by the Healthy Streets Scorecard coalition by reproducing the LTN component of the Safe Cycle London Map. The Safe Cycle London map was produced by Safe Cycle London with support from the London Cycling Campaign, the Healthy Streets Scorecard coalition and others. The Scorecard used the LTN map data to calculate the proportion of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in each borough relative to the area which is potentially suitable to be LTNs. TfL’s Strategic Neighbourhood Analysis was used to identify the total area in each borough appropriate for LTNs.
- The Scorecard gives the length of protected cycle track – on and adjacent to both TfL and borough-managed roads – as a percentage of overall borough road length. The Scorecard does not measure cycle tracks away from carriageways such as tracks through parks.