Cubic comment: Car Free Day – making London sustainable

“Congestion on London roads is a big problem. According to HERE’s Traffic Dashboard, London on a Thursday regularly experiences congestion surpassed globally only by Moscow and Mexico City. Tackling congestion head on is on London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s, agenda. He set a target for 80 per cent of all London trips to be via public transport, bike or on foot by 2041, which would mean a drastic reduction in air pollution from automobiles, resulting in a healthier population.

“London’s car-free day on September 22nd is a hugely positive step towards this. It can encourage behavioural change and help Londoners reimagine their city car-free.

Interactive congestion map of London

“This initiative is just the start. To encourage more people to use public modes of transport, we need an efficient data network. Data siloes need to be broken down and data must be shared and turned into actionable insight. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will enable this information to be collected and passed to the right people at the right time. MaaS combines public and private transportation services, providing people-centered travel options, enabling the best end-to-end journeys to be viewed and paid for by the user as a single charge.

“Data will inform commuters, transport operators and government officials of travelling trends, congestion and road infrastructure issues, helping people complete journeys, in the most efficient way. This has the potential to encourage alternative travelling options to solo car journeys such car sharing, the use of shuttles, autonomous vehicles and public transport. Ultimately, it is commuter behaviour that will need to change for the city to become greener, and London’s car-free day is a great starting point.”

Other HERE stats

  • According to the HERE Traffic Dashboard, 10 per cent of roads are congested on a typical Sunday – the day chosen for London’s Car Free Day. To show the size of the issue though, on a Thursday for example, London regularly experiences congestion on 35 per cent of roads, only behind Moscow and Mexico City in terms of traffic levels.
  • Sadiq Kahn aims to have 80 per cent of all London trips via public transport, bike or on foot by 2041. By that time, there will be an extra 10.8 million people in the capital and an additional six million journeys every day. In terms of meeting this ambition, while it is not the cheapest, the HERE Mobility Index places London’s public transport network as the second most efficient of any major city, with 379 trips per day per stop on average.
  • Outside of the public transport though, London faces a mobility challenge. Rail automation stands at just 7.8 per cent, and there are only 1.32 docked city bikes per 1000 people. Compare this to Copenhagen, with 2015 EV charging points, 100 per cent automated rail and 2.31 bikes per 1000 people, which shows the lead that London must follow.

Cubic comment from Dave Roat, Strategy Manager, Cubic Transportation Systems

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