Healthy Streets for London
The Mayor of London has launched Healthy Streets for London, which is a new plan to make London’s streets healthier, safer and more welcoming. This will reduce health inequalities and enable more Londoners to walk and cycle as part of their daily routine.
It is the Mayor’s ambition that Londoners walk or cycle for at least 20 minutes every day – currently only 34 per cent of Londoners manage to do this on any given day.
A key focus will be getting Londoners to reduce their reliance on car use, which will not only help to get them more active, but help tackle air pollution, road danger and social isolation in London.
Why is this important?
If every Londoner walked or cycled for 20 minutes a day, it would save the NHS £1.7bn in treatment costs over the next 25 years. This includes 85,000 fewer people being treated for hip fractures, 19,200 fewer people suffering from dementia, and an estimated 18,800 fewer Londoners suffering from depression.
In addition to the substantial physical health benefits, the Mayor’s new approach will serve to reduce air and noise pollution, improve mental health, help combat social isolation, and bring economic benefits to local high streets across the capital. It will also focus on minimising road danger – directly seeking to address the safety fears people have about cycling and walking more.
How will Healthy Streets be delivered?
The Healthy Streets Approach was developed by Consultant in Public Health, Lucy Saunders who is jointly employed by Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor’s office. The Mayor has committed Transport for London and the wider GLA family to embed the Healthy Streets Approach in their work, putting people’s health at the heart of decision making.
This new Approach will be delivered at three levels in practice:
- Street level – improving local environments by providing more space for walking and cycling, and better public spaces where people can interact. (This could include more seating, more greenery, reducing vehicle speeds and installing safer crossings)
- Transport network level – prioritising better and more affordable public transport and safer and more appealing routes for walking and cycling, reducing the dominance of motor vehicles and developing creative approaches to managing freight and deliveries.
- Strategic level – Planning new developments so people can walk or cycle to local shops, schools and workplaces, and have good public transport links for longer journeys.
As part of this plan, £2.1bn will be allocated to a new TfL Healthy Streets Portfolio that will focus on creating more welcoming and inclusive streets to enable more Londoners to walk, cycle and use public transport more often.