We have responded to the Mayor's draft Transport Strategy which he consulted on between June and October 2017.
The key themes of our response were:
- We support the ambition and bold vision, particularly for Healthy Streets;
- We welcome the recognition that some of the proposals will be easier for some boroughs to deliver than others;
- We welcome the holistic approach taken in the MTS to matters of the environment, economy and health and particularly welcome the joint nature of the air quality proposals in both the draft MTS and draft London Environment Strategy;
- We have some concerns about road user charging and the perceived devolution of responsibility for the difficulty of introducing these to borough politicians rather than the Mayor;
- We welcome the recognition that a single transport solution will not work everywhere. We suggest solutions need to take into account the local context, the purpose of the journey and the time;
- We consider that the draft MTS does not have a spatial central / inner / outer approach, which has surprised us since all the pre-consultation work TfL and the GLA did was focused on this geography;
- There are areas we think the Mayor could and should work faster on, for example in cleaning the transport fleet, demand-led bus services, rapid transit buses, tram extension and extending step-free access across the network;
- Funding and financing of schemes remains a concern, given the level of ambition in the strategy, particularly as Healthy Streets funding through the Liveable Neighbourhoods fund is not going to stretch far. Funding and financing of schemes, small-scale and strategic, remains as challenging for boroughs as it is for TfL. We want to see continued collaborative working on this;
- We support the major infrastructure plans for London and want London government to start identifying those for 2041-2060, given the challenges in bringing schemes forward. We note that a number of the proposals require central government support;
- Mode shift in outer London is recognised as being most challenging but we do not feel the proposals will address this adequately enough. These includes proposals relating to public transport provision, the cycle network and orbital rail;
- We seek greater reference to congestion as an implication of the Mayor’s policies in the final MTS;
- We consider the draft MTS to lack vision and preparedness for technological changes affecting transport. Thinking particularly of dockless cycling and autonomous vehicles, the Mayor needs to develop the necessary frameworks to ensure these and future changes can support the MTS vision and outcomes;
- With regards to the Local Implementation Plan (LIP) Guidance, we are concerned at the level of prescription in the document, regardless of whether that was intended, and the requirement for boroughs to develop targets for a series of delivery indicators where the Mayor is not developing his own targets. We feel it remains appropriate for boroughs to set targets against the outcome measures alone, as they have done under LIP2. A more ambitious strategy does not necessitate more requirements on boroughs. We also have some suggestions on shortening the Guidance that we will raise in our separate response;
- We note that whilst the MTS is ambitious, the timescales remain short for boroughs to develop their Local Implementation Plan. We therefore ask for acknowledgment that boroughs will not be able to deliver substantial amounts of what is an ambitious strategy before the end of the Mayoral term.
The Mayor consulted on his draft guidance which boroughs use to produce their Local Implementation Plan, which sets out how they will support the Mayor to deliver his transport strategy.
Our response to the draft LIP Guidance covered a number of areas including concern over the level of prescription; concern at the loss of Local Transport Funding for each borough; welcoming the commitment to data sharing and seeking greater clarity on what this means in practice; and some suggestions for shortening the Guidance and making it clearer.