Half a million workers commute into the City, London’s business district, also known as 'The Square Mile'. With these commuters, and the delivery vans that also serve the area, the Square Mile experiences many transport challenges. In order to tackle congestion, reduce accidents, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the City of London Corporation, the authority responsible for governing the area, has drafted a long-term Transport Strategy to improve transport in the City.
Currently only in draft form, the strategy contains a number of measures. It would give priority to pedestrians through changes to infrastructure and the implementation of various safety measures. The plan would also introduce a 15 mph (24 km/h) speed limit in the City, reducing this from 20 mph (32 km/h), as long as Central Government gives its approval. The rationale behind this is to further reduce the risk of a pedestrian death in the event of an accident in the Square Mile.
The strategy also aims to reduce the number of vehicles on the City's streets, including by diverting vehicles away from pedestrian priority areas when their destination is not in the City. The strategy also supports changing the London congestion charge to ensure that it contributes to reducing traffic levels by 25% by 2030 and by 50% by 2044. The City of London Corporation also plans to introduce local zero emission zones and continue to encourage the wider London authorities to introduce a larger zero emissions zone.
The strategy would reduce the number of delivery vehicles within the City through off-site consolidation, timed access and loading restrictions. The approval of some new construction sites in the City, including an office tower that will accommodate some 12 000 workers, were conditional on deliveries first being taken to an off-site depot for consolidation. From there, goods will have to be grouped before being brought to the offices using fewer vehicles.
The draft strategy will be subject to consultation over the winter, before a final version is published in spring 2019.
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