Whittlesea Active Travel in Schools
Victoria | Urban
It is well established that creating places for people to walk can reduce car dependency, improve air quality, energise town centres, boost economy and create socially cohesive communities. As such, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has established a Transport Strategy that sets an ambitious target for 80 per cent of resident journeys to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041.
Guided by this target, Transport for London (London’s Transport Authority, TfL) has developed the London Walking Action Plan. The resource outlines a strategy for planning, designing, building and managing cities in a way that facilitates and integrates walking into the community.
The Plan’s vision is to “enable and improve the experience of walking, while reducing car dependency” and has established two new walking targets that will aid in the Deliver of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. They are to increase the number of trips made by walking, specifically – increase daily walking trips by 1 million by 2024, and, to increase the proportion of walking trips to school to 57% by 2024.
The plan is underpinned by eight identified barriers to walking, such as efficiency, safety, inaccessibly and poor pedestrian facility design. These are addressed through four key areas for action:
This involves strategies to improve walking routes, as well as create clean, safe and attractive and accessible streets that encourage and prioritise walking. Examples of initiatives to support this include street crossing technology, lowering traffic speeds and adding safety features to streets.
This refers to extensive public transport expansion that will facilitate thousands of new walking journey stages and improve access to public transport for people of all abilities.
Emphasis will be placed on pedestrian friendly environments by putting people at the centre of the planning focus. This will be facilitated by monitoring and sharing evidence on walking.
TfL’s plan commits to measures that encourage walking. This will be achieved through collaborative efforts to promote the benefits of walking, particularly among children.
The plan acknowledges that the targets set out in the strategy will be achieved in conjunction with wider measures, as well as relevant collaboration across government, business and community sectors.
A similar Call to Action in Australian cities would help to generate discussion around the way communities are designed, and offer valuable strategic guidance in re-shaping cities to facilitate active living.
You can view the London Walking Action Plan here.