We benefited from Rosalind Readhead providing a talk and stimulating lively and interesting discussion. Â Rosalind is an independent mayoral candidate promoting a policy of car free days and active travel,Â particularly in central London.
She cited a recent study on the health effects of private motor vehicles in London. Â some of theÂ figures were very telling. This is a selection:
- Â 67% of all car journeys could be completed by bicycle in 20 minutes.
- 75 sq kms of London is devoted to car parking.
- 9,500 deaths in London each year can be associated with air pollution.
- Road closures can cause 75% of traffic to “evaporate”.
Her message was that, at the global level, Â climate change demanded action; whilst at the local level the adverse health effects of private motor vehicles threatened the existence of the NHS as a service provided free at the point of delivery.
Drawing on the example of Seville she advocated that local areas should be prepared with a detailed plan to promote cycling and other forms of active travel Â which will be available when when the political opportunity arises. Â This should include a proper cycling network, as opposed to the current “labyrinth” that is the central London grid.
On the business side (a) we discussed the approach to the forthcoming initial planning meeting on the Stratford gyratory, Â (b) decided to take up an offer from Murray Woodburn from Newham Council to discuss in detail the cycling aspects of the Forest Gate Crossrail improvements, (c) decided to seek details of theÂ junction planned at Â Stratford High St/Sugarhouse Lane and (d) progressed our arrangements for a forthcoming open meeting with Living Streets – now 2 November at 7.30pm, venue to be confirmed.