There has been some positive change on key input indicators, but all boroughs can do much more and many are lagging far behind
Some boroughs have improved their scores on 20mph speed limits and on Controlled Parking Zones, but many have done little or nothing since last year even on these. We expect to see many emergency cycle tracks and low traffic neighbourhoods put in place as we emerge from the 2020 coronavirus lockdown. We have not been able to reflect the emergency changes being made because they are happening as we write but the indications are that the majority of boroughs would still score low on these two indicators even if we had been able to factor in the emergency changes.
The overall score for boroughs is made up of scores for four ‘outcome’ indicators and five ‘input’ indicators. The range of results remains very wide for all indicators even when looking just at Inner or Outer London boroughs
On the four outcome indicators
- The proportion of trips made by ‘sustainable mode’ (i.e. public transport, walking or cycling) is just 41% in Hillingdon but 88% in the highest scoring borough Hackney.
- The proportion of adults walking more than five times a week varies between 29% in Barking & Dagenham and 53% in the City of London; and the proportion of adults cycling more than five times a week varies between just 1% in Sutton and 14% in Hackney.
- The highest rate of serious or fatal casualties is in Hackney with 13 per 100,000 journey stages, more than double the lowest rate in both Croydon and Greenwich with 5 per 100,000 journey stages.
- There remains a dramatic difference in reliance on cars with 127 cars registered for every 100 households in Hillingdon compared to just 35 in Islington. 70% of households have no car in Islington, Westminster, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Camden but just 23% of households in Bromley, Havering and Sutton operate without a car.
In terms of the five input measures that boroughs can implement to deliver healthier streets:
- 20mph speed limits are widespread in some boroughs with over 95% of streets covered in Southwark, Hackney and Islington but fewer than 5% in Bromley and Barnet.
- Low traffic neighbourhoods. Most boroughs have done almost nothing in the way of installing modal filters to block through-traffic from residential areas. Hackney has the most, over one hundred in total, but local campaigners say this is still only roughly half of what is needed.
- Six boroughs now have 100% controlled parking but just 9% of roads in Bromley and Sutton have controlled parking and one inner London borough, Lewisham, has a very low rate at just 24%.
- There are also wide differences in the amount of existing protected cycle track: Westminster, Tower Hamlets and Enfield have the most; Croydon, Brent and Kensington & Chelsea the least.
- Islington has installed traffic-free School Streets at 16% of its schools but 13 boroughs have yet to install any. In terms of STARS points, which reflect action on sustainable travel to school, Bromley has 60% of the maximum possible but Barking and Dagenham has only 9%.
Casualty rates per 100,000 journey stages
Unfortunately, the results show that, where active travel rates (walking and cycling) are higher, casualty rates are sometimes higher too, even taking account of the overall number of journey stages by these modes. Hackney is a clear leader on active travel rates, for example, but it also has high rates of serious or fatal collisions for active travellers per 100,000 journey stages. This will be something for boroughs and the Mayor to reflect on as they aim to deliver the Mayor’s vision of zero fatalities or serious injuries by 2041 – that simply boosting walking and cycling rates does not result in “safety in numbers”. Indeed, the more walking and cycling there is, the more there will be a clear need to deliver more and better safety measures too.