Despite the extremely challenging fiscal climate for local authorities, there is a recognition at all levels of government that improved transport infrastructure is critical to delivering regeneration as well as supporting housing and employment growth in London, which together all have significant health and wellbeing impacts for residents.
In Hackney, there are moves to reclaim neighbourhoods from private motor vehicles and make them more liveable, by making the streets more sustainable, safer, healthier and more cohesive. The City of London is looking at options to reduce emissions from transport where possible through timed closure, restricted access and wider support for zero emission vehicles.
In order to address the significant problems of air pollution in London, in March 2015 the Mayor of London and TfL confirmed they would proceed with the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London. Hackney Council and the City of London Corporation both support this scheme (for further detail, see the ‘Health and the environment’ section of this JSNA chapter).
While levels of active travel are comparatively high locally, there are many more opportunities to increase cycling and walking across Hackney and the City. For example, Hackney’s cycle market segmentation work suggests that there are particular groups of residents who are more resistant to attempts to encourage them to take up cycling, such as those involved in manual trades and older people. 1 Within Hackney, two groups in particular have been identified as having the most potential to cycle more – low-income families (‘Hard Pressed Families’), who make up around 46% of the borough’s population, as well as ‘Young Couples and Families’ (13%).
Initiatives to increase cycling in the City include the potential introduction of ‘quietways A by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and plans by the City of London Corporation to increase provision of cycle parking spaces to better match supply with demand. The new East to West Cycle Superway, which will cross Lower Thames Street, will likely improve the environment for cyclists, however, it may negatively impact pedestrians by making the road more difficult to cross by foot.
A recent walking potential study identified populations living within Hackney and areas of the borough characterised by low walking levels, and identified trips currently made by other modes of transport that are potentially walkable. Of the trips undertaken within Hackney, it was found that 10% of these are walkable trips (within 2km) which are not currently walked or cycled. Of these, trips for shopping and personal business travelled by car made up 10,000 trips a day.
- Cycling routes in quieter back streets for those who do not feel comfortable cycling on busy, traffic-filled roads
- Steer Davies Gleave, “Hackney Cycle Segmentation Study,” 2013.