Skip to main content

Cycling and walking

  • By Owain Mortimer

Supporting cycling and walking can have significant benefits for London and Londoners. Higher rates of walking and cycling can reduce road congestion and pollution, increase public transport capacity, and increase health benefits.

Our focus

Given that London’s local councils are responsible for 95 per cent of the capital’s roads, they are key to delivering walking and cycling improvements in London. London Councils’ work to help authorities in this area includes working with the Mayor of London and his Cycling Commissioner, Transport for London (TfL) and other key stakeholders to:

  • Ensure authorities’ concerns and priorities, including road safety, are taken into account in the future development and implementation of London’s walking and cycling policies
  • Ensure that London’s councils have adequate funding and flexibility to make the necessary road and public realm improvements that will increase rates of cycling and walking

Our previous work in this area has included undertaking research on breaking down barriers to walking and cycling, giving evidence to a London Assembly investigation on cycling and considering, along with partners, what actions can be taken to increase cycling in Outer London.  London Councils has represented borough views in responses to TfL's consultation on the Road Safety Action Plan to 2020, the draft Cycle Safety Action Plan and the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.

London Councils is introducing the Safer Lorry Control Scheme with TfL, which will require that all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes driving on London's roads have extended view mirrors and side guards.

The Government's Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy

In May 2016 we welcomed the production of the government's Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, though noted that London would receive little if any of the funding allocated by government as transport funding is devolved to the Mayor of London. We highlighted our concerns regarding the phasing out of TfL's revenue grant and the implications this will have for borough transport funding received from TfL. We asked the government to look again at the classification of TfL grants as revenue rather than capital funding, and called on the government to set a more ambitious road safety target. Our full response can be read here. 

The Mayor's Cycling Vision

In March 2013, the Mayor of London published a Vision for Cycling in London, including significant new funding for cycling, which London Councils and the capital’s local authorities broadly welcomed. We are now working with TfL and other key partners to ensure that that vision is delivered and that progress is made on new schemes, such as Cycle Superhighways, Quietways and Mini-Holland schemes in Waltham Forest, Kingston and Enfield. There are strong links between the vision and London’s Road Safety Action Plan to 2020 and the work of the Roads Task Force, of which London Councils was a member.

London Councils’ Poll of Residents on Walking and Cycling

Our 2013 poll showed that the condition of roads and pavements and safety are the main things that stop people from walking and cycling more.  Air and noise pollution and the availability and quality of infrastructure for securing bicycles were also identified as significant factors.