Encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport rather than cars has the potential to transform a city and improve the lives of everyone who lives and works there. With the ambitious goal of increasing active journeys in London, a new funding programme was introduced to provide London boroughs with the opportunity to transform their streets into a place where people choose to walk and cycle and, ultimately, live healthier lives
In 2017, a new £114 million ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ programme was announced by the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) with the aim of improving local environments across London – by directly enabling walking, cycling and the use of public transport.
Seven London boroughs – Ealing, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Havering, Lewisham, and Waltham Forest – were awarded funding to progress proposals that will transform their neighbourhoods into greener, healthier, more attractive places. The programme will help achieve the aims of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, which states that 80% of all journeys in London should be on foot, by cycle or by public transport by 2041.
Grants will be provided for a wide range of community supported projects, potentially including the creation of green spaces, new cycling infrastructure, improved junctions and the widening of walking routes to enhance access to local shops, businesses and public transport. Encouraging people to think twice about jumping into a car for short journeys and consider a lifestyle without owning a car, as well as encouraging businesses to consolidate waste management and alternative delivery systems, will also be ways in which neighbourhoods should see a reduction in traffic dominance.
Underpinning the programme is the Healthy Streets Approach devised by TfL, which will enable boroughs to improve air quality, reduce congestion and make London’s diverse communities greener, healthier and more attractive places in which to live, play and do business. This approach provides the framework on which to devise policies and strategies to transform our streets into enjoyable places to be.
Steer is currently working with the London Borough of Ealing and key stakeholders on the feasibility study and TfL Gate 2 funding application for the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood. Branded ‘Live West Ealing’ the neighbourhood straddles the Uxbridge Road, a strategic East-West transport corridor into and out of central London.
This area, a busy high street surrounded by old and new residential accommodation within easy walking distance of the new Elizabeth Line station at West Ealing, is an ideal location where walking, cycling and the use of public transport can be encouraged through improvements to the public realm.
Proposed projects include tactical interventions such as parklets and colourful crossings to generate interest in the programme, “Passageway Places” to turn unloved alleyways into creative connections featuring light and art installations, and Gateway plazas to celebrate entry into the neighbourhood. Steer also assisted Hillingdon and Islington Councils with their applications for the second round of funding, which closed on 30 November 2018, and we look forward to working with other London Councils and TfL to deliver it.