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Whoever the next London Mayor is, shared transport must improve

While transport clubs in the UK capital are growing faster than any other part of the country, experts warn the city may be left behind by overseas cities. 

That’s the view of Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), with the organisation publishing its latest manifesto ahead of the London mayoral election on 2nd May. 

According to Britain’s national shared transport organisation, all candidates should commit to expanding provision in the metropolis in a bid to increase access to alternatives to car ownership. An action plan has been drawn up which would ensure comprehensive coverage across Greater London.

Recommendations also made for pilot programmes allowing GPs to prescribe cycling to patients in the form of bike share scheme memberships. A network of ‘mobility hubs’ should be created across the length and breadth of London, and transport credits could be awarded to people who decide to get rid of their private vehicle and switch to shared transportation. A similar two year scheme was trialled in Coventry, which is believed to have triggered the scrapping of hundreds of cars in return for up to £3,000 per person to spend on taxis, public transportation and shared transport. 

You can read the manifesto in full, here.

‘London stands on the verge of an historic opportunity to improve how people move around our capital,’ said Richard Dilks, Chief Executive of CoMoUK. ‘Shared transport can play an even more major role on this in the future as we are unfortunately not currently making the most of the huge popularity of shared transport among people who live here. Provision is patchy and this needs to be urgently improved.’

Although clear on the rise in shared transport options in and around London, with more than 260,000 active club users and 1.35million monthly trips now being made on bicycles alone, the city only ranks 24th out of 42 in Europe, and rates pale against many comparable urban centres. Paris, for example, records around 5million journeys on shared transport every month. 

‘I’d recommend car sharing to anyone. It deals with the problem of doing things that are tricky by public transport and is far cheaper than getting a taxi,’ said Hackney resident George Peretz, who uses the peer-to-peer vehicle rental schem, Hiyacar. ‘There’s also none of the hassle of going through a traditional rental company, where you have to visit an office, fill in 15 forms and wait while they try to sell you insurance.

‘I’d certainly be in favour of expanding London’s shared transport network. For most people who live here, it would be quite mad to do most journeys using a private car,’ he continued. ‘I often use my bike because I’m still reasonably fit and not particularly intimidated by the traffic, but there are lots of people who don’t tick both of those boxes. For them, having access to a car when they need it for certain journeys like going out to the country or transporting something heavy would be very useful.’

More on transport: 

DutchCycling Lifestyle Tool nominated in Webby Awards

Cumbria, Hull, Rutland among councils suffering huge bus service loss

Westminster has the most eco-friendly drivers in Britain

Image: CoMoUK

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