City of London is set to become the UK’s first 15mph region

The City of London Corporation’s most senior decision-making body, the Court of Common Council, has voted to make the Square Mile the first area in the UK with a 15mph speed limit, subject to government approval.

The decision follows a public consultation into 54 proposals unveiled by the City Corporation last year, which together sets a 25-year framework for its first long-term Transport Strategy.

The plans have been developed to support the changing working, living and commuting habits across London.

City Corporation monitoring reveals that 90% of all journeys made on the City’s streets are partially or entirely walked. The new Strategy will prioritise the needs of people walking when delivering changes to streets, and make the most efficient use of street space by working to reduce motor traffic by 25% by 2030, and by 50% by 2044.

Data also shows that cycling has increased by 292% since 1999, while the number of vehicles using the Square Mile’s streets has halved in the last 20 years. The Strategy will see the City Corporation enhancing its cycling offer, launching a new cycling network and improving the quality and accessibility of cycle hire facilities.

And as hosts of the London Walking and Cycling Conference, taking place today in partnership with Hackney Council, where the Mayor of London is a keynote speaker - the City Corporation will announce that two operators, Freebike (electric bikes) and Beryl, will begin a six-month trial for dockless cycle hire in the Square Mile.

The new Transport Strategy will also improve air quality by proposing the UK’s first large scale Zero Emission Zone to cover central London, after local zero emission zones are introduced covering the City Cluster and Barbican and Golden Lane.

And with a renewed focus on accessibility and emerging technology, the City Corporation is partnering up with AppyParking to launch a mobile app for disabled badge holders. Users can see the locations of disabled bays across the City, which ones are available, and the associated parking charges.

Alastair Moss, Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation, said:

“The City of London is one of the most well-connected parts of the UK, with 15 Tube stations, seven Tube lines, eight mainline stations, multiple bus routes and a fast-evolving bicycle network.

“We are working tirelessly to support the 513,000 workers that commute to the Square Mile every day, and to deliver the forward-thinking City that Londoners want to see.

“These radical plans will ensure the continued success of not just the City, but wider London and the UK as a leading global business and cultural destination.”

A long-term programme to make these transformative changes will start later this year, with the 15mph speed limit implemented by 2021/22, subject to approval by the Department for Transport.

Short-term measures have already begun, including a trial of the Lunchtime Streets programme, which uses timed and temporary street closures to make the streets more attractive places to walk, cycle and spend time. In March 2019, while scheduled roadworks were in place, the traffic-free St Mary Axe street was transformed over a lunchtime period with food stalls and pop-up seating for people to enjoy their lunch in a safer, more pleasant environment. More Lunchtime Streets will be held during the summer.

A Delivery Plan will be considered by the City Corporation’s Planning & Transportation Committee in Summer 2019.



Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

The full set of draft proposals can be accessed here and previous news release here.

About the London Walking and Cycling Conference

Topic: Reshaping our cities for walking and cycling

Date: Friday 24 May, 9am - 4.45pm

Venue: 71 Basinghall Street entrance, Guildhall, Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HH. Getting there.

Media are invited to join the first London Walking and Cycling Conference at Guildhall on Friday 24 May.

The conference, organised by Hackney Council and the City of London Corporation, and supported by Steer and Cyclehoop, will see international experts, academics and campaigners convene for a day of talks, videos and Q&As on the role walking and cycling can play in shaping our cities. The City of London Corporation has the highest walking rates of any local authority in the country, and Hackney is London’s capital of cycling, with the highest proportion of journeys made by bike.

Key speakers are:

  • Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, discussing how the Capital’s streets must change to better meet the needs of people walking and cycling.
  • Judith Bokhove, Vice Mayor for Mobility, Rotterdam. Judith became Vice Mayor with responsibility for mobility, youth and language skills in July 2018 after serving as GreenLeft’s spokesperson for infrastructure and public space on the City Council.
  • Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cardiff Council. Caro has recently brought forward Cardiff’s Transport and Clean Air Green Paper, which sets out 18 ideas to change Cardiff’s transport system, including introducing clean air zones and cycle superhighways.
  • Silviya Barrett, Research Manager, Centre for London. Sylvia is Research Manager at Centre for London, the capital’s dedicated think tank. In 2017, Silviya co-authored Street Smarts, the final report of the independent, expert-led Commission on the Future of London’s Roads and Streets, and recently published Green Light, a report examining the case for, and design principles of, a next generation road user charging scheme for London.