The “Walking Action Plan” was rolled out last week by London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, and its ultimate goal is to “get residents of the capital to choose walking as their primary mode of transportation when possible.”
To do so, the city’s administration is investing £2.2 billion — the capital’s streets will be redesigned to support walking, meaning new infrastructures, better signs and maps and more pedestrian crossings. The scheme is being supported by Public Health England, which hopes that by 2024 Londoners will take an average of 1 million extra steps.
“Our objective is to make walking the safest, easiest and most enjoyable way of getting around,” commented Will Norman, London’s first walking and cycling commissioner. Every new infrastructure plan will prioritise walkers, and the administration hopes to see the number of people walking, cycling or using public transportation increase to 80% by 2041. Of course, the new scheme is going to help also with cleaning the air and reducing pollution due to traffic.
The Plan also includes the creation of “Active Travel Hubs” in the Underground system, to help people walk from one station to the other and get some of those steps in even when using the tube. London’s public bus fleet will also get an upgrade, and the city’s administration aims to ban diesel taxis completely by 2019. All in an effort to make the city more sustainable and clean, and help its people and its millions of tourists breathe better.
Leaving cars at home will not only improve the air quality of the city and the physical health of Londoners, though, but it might also offer them a chance to rediscover their city with its monuments, quirky tours, and sweet delights.