An independent commission of transport and environment experts has put pressure on the Mayor of London to be bold on reducing car use across the capital, to tackle London’s chronic air pollution, congestion and health challenges.

The independent Commission on the Future of London’s Roads and Streets was convened by Centre for London, the capital’s dedicated think tank, and chaired by Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair of NHS England. The Commission’s aim was to develop new thinking on what London could do to manage the conflicting pressures on the capital’s surface transport system and public realm.

The Commission’s final report, published today, calls on the Mayor to make more efficient use of London’s finite road network by focusing his efforts on creating a transport system centred on public transport, walking and cycling, and making the most of new technology.
While the Commission supports moves to promote electric over petrol and diesel vehicles, it warns that even ‘zero emission’ vehicles do in fact produce dangerous particles from brakes, tyres and roadware. It calls for more research and innovation, and a better policy framework to tackle non-tailpipe emissions.

The Commission recognises that public budgets are tight but argues that money raised through reform of parking and road user charges should be invested in improving London’s public realm and making it more walkable. It also calls for boroughs to take a ‘design-led’ approach to road maintenance and traffic engineering work, rather than seeing these as purely engineering challenges.