Street Smarts: Report of the Commission on the Future of London’s Roads and Streets

A report from the Commission on the Future of London's Roads and Streets, looking at how the capital could tackle the conflicting pressures on its transport system.

Everyone who lives in, works in, or visits London depends on its roads and streets. They provide spaces where we can work, trade, meet, play, relax and exercise. They are vital to London’s ongoing success as a welcoming and creative global city.

But London’s roads and streets are not serving the city’s needs. Congestion is on the rise. Air pollution has emerged as a very significant health concern, with approximately half of air pollution in London estimated to stem from road transport. Congestion and pollution will only get worse as the capital’s population continues to grow, unless we adopt new policies and approaches.

About the Commission

The independent Commission on the Future of London’s Roads and Streets was convened by Centre for London and chaired by Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair of NHS England. Its aim was to develop new thinking on what London could do to manage the conflicting pressures on the capital’s surface transport system and public realm.

The Commission’s final report calls on the Mayor to make more efficient use of London’s finite road network, by focusing his efforts on creating a transport system centred on public transport, walking and cycling, and making the most of new technology. The report comes as the Mayor finalises his Transport Strategy.

The Commission focused on five developments which represent challenges to and opportunities for London’s roads and streets:

  • Population growth
  • Equity and deprivation
  • Quality of place
  • Health and wellbeing
  • New technologies

And set out a vision for London in 10-15 years time…

“A London that is loved by its citizens and admired across the world for the way it enables easy, pollution-free and affordable movement around the city, the vitality of its neighbourhoods and the quality of its public realm.”

They recommended an ambitious and innovative package of policy reforms, to help achieve this vision, including:

  • Introducing a London Movement Code to better guide the interaction between different road users.
  • Introducing a cashback scrappage scheme as part of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, benefiting motorists who pay ULEZ charges frequently.
  • Replacing the Congestion Charge with a pan-London, pre-pay smart road user pricing scheme.
  • Reviewing the Congestion Charge to remove the exemption from private hire vehicles and reduce the resident discount.
  • Encouraging households to give up their parking permits through incentives such as Oyster or car club credits.

The full list of commissioners includes:

  • Professor Peter Bishop, Professor in Urban Design, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
  • Patricia Brown, Director, Central
  • Ellie Cosgrave, Lecturer in Urban Innovation at Policy, STEaPP City Leadership Lab, University College London
  • Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair, NHS England
  • Professor Peter Jones, OBE, Professor of Transport and Sustainable Development, University College London
  • Professor Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health, Kings College London
  • Nick Lester-Davis, Director, Nick Lester-David Consultancy, Vice Chair, ERTRAC
  • Tony Meehan, Transportation Consultancy, Practice Director, Atkins
  • Professor David Metz, Honorary Professor, Centre for Transport Studies, University College London


This report has been generously supported by:


This report has also been sponsored by: