Lambeth commits to ‘big shift’ towards sustainable travel and clean air

Lambeth Council will make an investment of over £16 million to encourage residents to give up their cars and make sustainable travel choices.

The London borough has outlined plans to bring a variety of measures, including protected cycle lanes, more bike storage facilities, new walking routes and more electric vehicle charge points.

Part of the agenda, which has been brought forward for consultation, is a £1.7 new million programme – named ‘The Big Shift’ – which would focus on developing active travel infrastructure.

This would see cycle training and teaching on road safety in schools, road space reallocated for communities, access to e-cargo bike schemes, regular road closures to promote active travel and a street design competition for new public spaces in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs).

time lapse photo of person riding on white road bicycle

The next stages of the council’s Transport Strategy Programme will also be consulted on and if approved more than £16 million will be invested to change street layouts, reduce traffic and promote sustainable travel.

New cycling and walking routes, five new permanent LTNs, 5,000 cycle parking spaces, new school streets and EV chargers could be delivered through this.

Phase 1 of the programme, which cost just over £4 million, has already seen positive outcomes with cycling numbers increasing and carbon emissions decreasing.

As a result of Railton Road becoming an LTN, cycling numbers have gone up by 91%, while across the LTN programme a net reduction of 40,000 vehicles a day has been recorded.

Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, said: ‘Lambeth has taken great strides in improving local street and air quality over the last eight years by cutting traffic, helping people to embrace cycling or walking, and also greening our neighbourhoods.

‘But we must do more, and go much further, to achieve our long-term goals and the aspirations of our residents which came across loud and clear during our citizens’ assembly on climate change.

‘We must rid our neighbourhoods of the inherent inequalities that see our most at-risk residents being disproportionately affected by dangerous streets and worst hit by dirty air. We want to help those most vulnerable to air pollution with targeted support for children, the elderly, or people with existing health problems who suffer the most.’

These new developments are in line with Lambeth Council’s Climate Action Plan which sets the borough on a target to reach net zero and become climate resilient by 2030.

Photo by Roman Koester


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