London mayor unveils plan to reduce dependency on cars

The mayor has also laid out a commitment to make the entire transport system zero emission by 2050, through a "phased approach", building on the upcoming introduction of the ultra low emission zone and the T-charge.

Currently, 64 per cent of Londoners travel by public transport, cycling or walking, but the mayor wants the number to go up to 80 per cent by 2041.

In addition, Khan said the new plan would see Transport for London explore the potential for a new generation of more sophisticated road charging scheme, which could include per mile charges.

The target would reduce the average number of auto journeys each day by three million, even as the city's population is projected to climb from 8.7 million to 10.5 million over the next 25 years.

He added: "But in the longer term, road pricing may be a viable solution to replace the current London charging regime because of its "pay as you use" philosophy - by its nature this is fairer than the flat rate fees drivers now pay to enter the congestion charging zone, and future Ultra Low Emission Zone".

"It has been an incredibly hard few weeks for London, but we must carry on as a city and that means pushing forward our work to keep Londoners moving around our city", Khan said.

Khan said with London's population set to expand from 8.7 million to 10.5 million over the next 25 years, it will generate more than five million additional trips each day across the transport network.

"In launching my first Transport Strategy today, I'll be setting out wide-ranging plans for making cycling and walking safe and accessible in every neighborhood, transforming our bus network, and ensuring new housing is built not around auto use, but designed directly around access to public transport links instead", Khan said.

Publishing the document, Mr Khan said: "London is the greatest city in the world and as it continues to grow it is vital that we take a bold approach to ensure our transport network works for all".

Khan was unapologetic about the need to curb vehicle use, despite the fact some of the proposals are likely to face opposition from motoring groups.

"We have to make not using your auto the most affordable, safest and most convenient option for Londoners going about their daily lives".

"Mass cycling levels would reduce congestion and pollution and vastly boost the health of Londoners".

Those pieces are also taken into consideration, as Khan's "Transport Strategy" draft describes how this would include stages like making all taxis and for-hire private vehicles zero-emission "capable" as of 2033, then buses and all other road vehicles meeting that same standard by 2033 and 2040 respectively.

Paul Morozzo, a clean air campaigner at Greenpeace, welcomed the plans. Investing in public transport, walking and cycling is crucial to solving the air pollution problem effectively.

The measures will support the Mayor's ambition to "radically improve air quality across London and make London a zero emission city", City Hall has said.

Disabled Londoners and visitors to the city are being promised more step-free stations and that TfL will work to halve the journey times on the step-free network so that they "become comparable to those on the wider transport network".

  • Zachary Reyes