Home / Other News / A car-free London is within our reach | Hirra Khan Adeogun – theguardian.com
A car-free London is within our reach | Hirra Khan Adeogun – theguardian.com
Hirra Khan Adeogun
Last Friday, everyone living in London was told to avoid strenuous physical activity. An intense area of high pressure meant pollutants were caught in the air, rather than being blown away as usual. The government forecast the highest level of pollution – band 10 – would be reached, with air pollution at its highest recorded level since March 2018. The advice to avoid intense exercise put the onus on the most vulnerable in society – children, elderly people, those living with lung and heart conditions – rather than encouraging drivers to move to more sustainable transport options or limit their journeys. But, as a report published on Tuesday shows, we will not effectively tackle the climate crisis without real traffic reduction.
If London is to be a city that works for everyone – drivers included – it needs to move seriously towards a future with fewer private cars on its streets. That’s why I was so heartened to see the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, acknowledging that traffic needs to go down by at least 27% in the capital to meet our climate targets. While I would argue that we could be more ambitious, Khan’s target is impressive, compared with the 2018 mayoral transport strategy, and marks real progress. Around the world, cities that have reduced cars have become better places to live and work: cleaner, safer, with healthier residents who have the option to move around in different ways, rather than relying on private cars..