CITYMATTERS.LONDON August 2020 | Page 3 NEWS subscribe to our newsletter at citymatters.london City’s Climate Action Strategy is crucial, says policy chief SHAKE-UP: TfL aims to make the financial district “one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city in the world”. TfL to introduce car-free zones in the Square Mile BIG plans to radically change car and cycling traffic flows between London Bridge and Shoreditch will be in place by early August, writes Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter. TfL has announced it is making changes to two major thoroughfares that run through the Square Mile – Bishopsgate and Gracechurch Street. The organisation will widen pavements along the one-mile route and provide additional room for cycling. It aims to make the financial district “one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city in the world”, in a bid to encourage Londoners back to their desks without needing public Khan defends mental health stance THE Mayor of London has defended his decision to speak openly about his mental health during the coronavirus pandemic – saying it would “irresponsible and dishonest” to ignore it, writes Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter. Sadiq Khan said real leadership is about “representing people and giving voice to their feelings”, not being an “alpha male who constantly seeks to parade their virility”. It comes after the Mayor shared his struggles during Covid-19 lockdown in an interview with the Sunday Times magazine last month. Mr Khan said lockdown has taken transport. There will also be no access to motor vehicles between Middlesex Street and Liverpool Street, or between Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street. These changes will only be in operation on weekdays from 7am to 7pm. A set of banned turnings will also be introduced to streets along Bishopsgate on a 24/7 basis. They include: Worship Street (left only, except buses); Artillery Lane (left turn only); Middlesex Street (left turn only); Liverpool Street (right turn only); Cornhill (ahead and left only); Lombard Street (remains ahead and left only); Fenchurch Street (left only); and Gracechurch Street at Fenchurch Street (in a northbound direction, ahead only, a toll on his mental wellbeing and admitted he “felt fragile” and was not always able to provide the leadership London needed during the crisis. But now he has defended his decision to speak out, and vowed to keep talking about the issue. “None of us are superhuman: we all have our good days and our bad days,” Mr Khan told the London Assembly. “This is especially true in the middle of a pandemic, when we’re all finding it tough and we’ve all had to make huge sacrifices to save lives – from staying indoors and working except for buses and cycles who may turn right and cycles who may turn left). TfL said these “temporary” measures will still provide access for all vehicles, including servicing and taxis, except for in two stretches – Middlesex Street to Liverpool Street, and Leadenhall Street to Fenchurch Street – where vehicles will be banned. Gareth Powell, TfL’s managing director for surface transport, said: “We’re determined that transport will be at the heart of London’s green, healthy and sustainable recovery from coronavirus. “We’re running near normal levels of public transport services and are working hard to deliver extra space for walking and cycling right across the capital. “The first walking-and-cycling priority zone on Bishopsgate will play a central role in enabling people who are returning to work to do so safely and without relying on cars.” Alastair Moss, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, said: “The transformation of Bishopsgate into a pedestrian and cyclist priority area perfectly complements the City of London Corporation’s efforts on increasing the comfort and safety for all workers, residents and visitors on City streets.” from home to limiting outdoor exercise and interactions with friends, family and loved ones. “I make no apology for acknowledging the toll that has had on Londoners’ mental health including my own.” But Conservative Assembly member Tony Devenish questioned Mr Khan’s decision to keep working despite the pressure he was under. Mr Devenish applauded the Mayor for “having the guts” to speak publicly about his mental health. But Mr Khan should have considered handing over to a deputy if he wasn’t coping with the strain of the pandemic, he suggested. AS the UK starts to rebuild its economy in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, it is crucial that the plan is developed with climate change at its heart, writes Catherine McGuinness, City of London policy chair. We need to shape a greener, fairer and more resilient City, and in doing so we want the whole Square Mile to play its part. That’s why last week we launched an online survey asking City residents, workers and businesses for their views on climate change. We’re inviting people to say what the City of London Corporation should do to counter the threat of future weather conditions, and what action they would like to see taken to make City buildings more environmentally friendly. It’s part of our plan to launch a Climate Action Strategy later this year which will outline what we will do make sure the Square Mile become net-zero emission and climate resilient in the future. We want to reduce the City’s carbon emissions and to lead others to take similar measures. As the governing body of the Square Mile, we have a leading role to play in ensuring that London and the UK are both resilient to risks presented by climate change and in capturing the opportunities in the transition to a low carbon economy. We have already taken several major steps to reduce our carbon footprint, including protecting and conserving 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England, running on 100% renewable electricity since October 2018, and offsetting carbon emissions from business travel flights. As part of this, we are taking bold and practical action to improve air quality in the City, and air quality here is improving. We are piloting the UK’s first 24/7 zero emission street at Beech Street and we will turn other parts of the Square Mile into zeroemissions zones by 2022. We have already banned the purchase of diesel vehicles from our own vehicle fleet, where there is a clean market alternative, and we are leading a Londonwide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling when parked. Our CityAir app provides over 30,000 Londoners with low pollution travel routes across the capital, and our Emissions Reduction Bill aims to give the capital’s local authorities tough new powers to tackle air pollution caused by boilers, construction machinery and diesel generators. Overall, we want to make sure that 90% of the City will meet World Health Organisation guidelines for nitrogen dioxide by 2025. In addition, we are driving forward the green finance business agenda by establishing the Green Finance Institute alongside HM government, the principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance. All of these are actions are so important. But to tackle climate change head-on it is not enough, and working together, we need to do more. That’s why our Climate Action Strategy will be crucial. Radical action is needed if we are to make Square Mile more climate resilient, and I’m urging all City residents and businesses to get involved in this important survey.
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