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A City for All Londoners, Sadiq Khan’s first major policy statement since becoming mayor, signifies a number of changes for the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London.
A City for All Londoners, published in late October, offers the first opportunity since his Manifesto to see what Sadiq Khan has in store for the capital. Although not particularly lengthy (as the document itself admits), it reveals the mayor’s direction of travel, giving us a good indication of what we can expect over the coming four years.
The document introduces a number of new concepts and associated vocabulary. “Good growth” is mentioned throughout, referring to the principle that development and regeneration must be looked at holistically, taking into account the local amenities, availability of green spaces, quality of the environment and affordability. This means a shift to more mixed use developments and a renewed push for genuinely affordable housing. Transport has a big role to play here, with the mayor explicitly stating he will use transport infrastructure investment to spur regeneration.
The “Healthy Street” is also a new term introduced in the document. This is a new approach to creating streets which promote active travel, have clean air and are safe. While this concept will be applied differently according to the location, examples such as the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street and the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf cycle bridge are mentioned.
In terms of transport, the document gives a number of infrastructure projects the mayor would like to see brought forward, including East London river crossings, extension of the Tramlink and Overground and improved bus services. However, two projects are mentioned particularly frequently: Crossrail 2 and the Bakerloo line extension to Lewisham, both of which are highlighted as key to providing additional capacity to the system. The devolution of suburban rail services, starting with Southeastern in 2018, is also mentioned as part of the mayor’s bid to the Government for further fiscal and transport powers.
Much of the environmental policies are focused on the two goals of improving air quality and making London a zero-carbon city by 2050. There has already been much work on the former target, with the proposed “T-charge”, extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone and clean bus corridors. On the latter, the mayor will begin by creating a roadmap to reduce carbon emissions to 2050 and will set up Energy for Londoners, a new agency focusing on smart meter roll out, supporting photovoltaic solar, retrofitting buildings and assisting in local community energy enterprises. The document does also mention moving toward a circular economy, ensuring the city is resilient to extreme weather conditions caused by climate change and the need to break down silos between different environmental sectors.
Overall, the document provides a good introduction to a number of the mayor’s priorities and guiding principles for his term in office. Now, the GLA will begin fleshing these ideas out and they have already begun the engagement process, with the ultimate aim of producing a new London Plan (a statutory spatial plan for London) as well as the seven other mayoral strategy documents (including the mayor’s Transport Strategy and the London Environmental Strategy).
We have already begun engaging with City Hall in helping to develop these strategies. If you wish to find out more about our work, please email [email protected].