Centre for London convened an independent, expert commission to examine how London can best manage the conflicting pressures on its roads and streets, and tackle problems of congestion, pollution, affordability and road safety besetting London’s surface transport system.
London’s congestion problem
Serving as both transport routes and social places, London’s roads and streets are facing many competing pressures. As the city grows, delivery vehicles, cabs, coaches, buses, private cars, motorbikes, cyclists and pedestrians all jostle for priority. As a result, London has now over taken Brussels as the most congested city in Europe.
This brings a number of challenges, with unacceptably high levels of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and mounting pressures to improve road safety. While new technology is seen as being at the core of solving these challenges, it is also behind some of the drivers for increasing congestion, such as the increase in home deliveries, private hire vehicles and the development of self-drive vehicles. Hard choices have to be made on how to manage congestion, while preserving roads’ and streets’ public realm aspects.
About the Commission on the Future of London’s Roads and Streets
The purpose of the Commission was to develop new cross-party, cross-sector thinking on ways forward for London’s roads and streets.
Considering the impact on different groups of users, the Commission recommended policies to maintain London’s competitiveness, reduce congestion and pollution, increase liveability and the vitality of city streets, improve public health, and promote inclusive and sustainable growth.
The Commission looked at the role that different types of policy interventions could play in meeting the challenges facing London’s roads and streets.
The Commission was chaired by Sir Malcolm Grant CBE, Chair of NHS England, and was made up of senior experts in the field of transport policy, economic development, health and urban planning.
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
Commissioners met five times over the course of the project and published their final report in October 2017.
The work of the commissioners was supported by a team of experts from Centre for London, as well as Atkins and Thales who undertook new analysis on the choices facing London, as directed by the Commission.
Call for evidence
To help inform the Commission’s work, Centre for London put out a public call for evidence. We gathered contributions from a wide range of stakeholders, including different road user groups, campaign organisations, charities and businesses, politicians and academics.