A SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT STRATEGY FOR LONDON: BASELINE POLICY AND IMPLEMENTATION

Joanna Williams University of Luton
1.0

INTRODUCTION Sustainable Systems

1.1

Sustainability is a concept being aired in the current environmentally and socially aware climate. It is a concept relevant within all areas of society, not least transport. Sustainability is both an idea in its infancy and one which is perceived in a variety of ways. A sustainable system is one in which physical and social environments are protected to maintain or improve the quality of life for present and future generations. The Brundtland Report (1987) suggests that a sustainable system must preserve the physical environment’s ability to provide basic “life support’’ services, such as clean air, fresh water, fertile land, diverse and stable ecological systems and climate regulation. A sustainable system is one which accepts that the environment places absolute limits on some kinds of human behaviour and that the human race lives within its environmental means. The key requirements for a sustainable system include the following:

*

* *

*
1.2

A reduction in energy and resource consumption Minimisation of waste production and emissions The protection of the diversity and variety of life Equity within present society

Criteria for Sustainable Transport Systems

The criteria for sustainable transport systems were outlined in the “Draft Guide: Advice on Strategic Planning Guidance for London” ( 1993), produced by the London Planning Advisory Committee. The criteria included:

* *

*

The need to reduce emissions from all modes of transport The need to protect species and natural habitats The need to provide an environmentally friendly transport system which is accessible to all people

In order to fulfil these criteria, the movement of both freight and people must be reduced Also modal shift towards less environmentally damaging modes must be encouraged. This requires planning of development and amenities to minimise travel requirements: increasing the availability and attractiveness of the public transport system and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists; ensuring that these alternatives are affordable and accessible. The solutions regarding the creation of sustainable transport systems, networks and strategies have been well documented in a variety of literature, for example Deelstra’s Oppurlunities and Initiuiivesfiw Sustainable Tr@c and h n s p o r t in (khan Regions in Iiurope ( I 992), Ecotec’s Reducing I<missrons 7’hroughI’lunning ( I 993). Glaister’s ’li.Cmspori Options fi,r Imxion (1991) and Hatt’s Mriving 7iiward~ Sustuinuhle Mobility (IY93). Indeed they have been implemented to varying degrees in many urban environments. Thus the author shall not discuss the more general issues here Instead this paper aims to briefly evaluate the situation in a prestigious World City, London.

This Paper will provide an overview of sustainable transport policy and implementation within London, based on a study completed immediately after the release of the revised Planning Policy Guidance Note 13: Transport, 1994 (PPG13). The study, A Su.srainahle Transport Slrategy for Metropolitan 1,ondon (1994) researched baseline policy and implementation at this time within a representative sample of London Boroughs. The methodology, results and conclusions of the research will be presented and the implications of these for monitoring future transport strategies discussed,
2.0

THE SITUATION IN LONDON: AN OVERVIEW

At present many governmental, academic and environmental organisations (including London Boroughs, Department of Transport, Department of Environment, Integrated Regional Oftice, London Planning Advisory Committee, Transport 2000 and London research Centre) are involved in the creation of policies and their implementation to achieve a sustainable transport strategy in the metropolis. Most perceive that the very viability of London as a World City is dependant on the creation of a sustainable transport strategy, to be implemented at a strategic level. However, the actors involved in transport policy and implementation are aware of the difficulties of implementing such a strategy within the metropolis. The transport system has developed in the metropolis in an unplanned way It has been heavily influenced by geological conditions, the polycentric nature of the city, the unplanned growth points dictated by economic viability rather than a strong land use planning system, the stability of the urban structure and high travel demand.
It is these influences which tend to ensure the rigidity of the existing system and create problems in the implementation of a more sustainable transport strategy. In addition, further complications including inadequate investment in sustainable transport systems, lack of integration at a strategic level of transport networks and land use planning. public opinion and expense of infrastructure; which prevent the implementation of a sustainable transport strategy in London.

To provide the necessary transport infrastructure would prove exceedingly expensive. but the number of trips within the city are increasing rapidly. Within London a peculiar deomgraphic phenomenon is occurring which has implications for the transport network. The population is declining significantly. The demand placed on roads is increasing at a rate which cannot be sustained.The major problems preventing the creation of a sustainable transport strateby in London can be summarised as being: * * * * * The lack of central government investment in an ageing public transport network The lack of strategic vision and co-ordination within the transport system The relatively stable urban fabric which reduces the effect of land use planning policies as a tool to implement sustainable transport Central Government’s economic philosophy. . These include: * * Lack of sustainable transport networks/systems operating especially between and within suburban boroughs Dispersed and low density form of development Dispersed land-use activities Lack of traffidparking restraint policies and initiatives Lack of major public transport terminals in outer London * * * To solve these problems would prove an enormous task. which overrides the need for a sustainable transport system The lack of strategic co-ordination between land-use and transport policiesiinitiatives by a democratically elected and locally representative London-wide body Ownership of transport infrastructure Public opinion * * In outer London the transport system is particularly unsustainable due to a variety of reasons. to alter the land use pattern thus reducing the need to travel would be a slow and difficult task. the problems created by an unsustainable transport strategy are growing. Congestion is becoming a major problem with traffic speeds dropping. emissions and energy consumption rising rapidly. However. Perhaps the greatest challenge of all would be to encourage the awareness of people and freight using sustainable modes. Alternatively.

(see figure I). (see section I. a baseline for policy and implementation must be established. Thus they were specific to the area of study.0 A BASELINE STUDY OF POLICY AND IMPLEMENTATION: POST PLANNING POLICY GIIIDANCE NOTE 13 1994 (PPG13) Research Overview 3. chosen according to geographical locations and political control of the local authority at that time.2) . The research was based on a representative sample of the 33 London Boroughs. This paper provides that baseline.2 Methodology and Results A questionnaire survey was carried out in the 13 boroughs. 3.1 In order to measure the successful implementation of the vast amount of sustainable transport policy which is being produced at national and local levels. In all. The main areas of research included: * * An assessment of the sustainability of each borough’s transport policies and implementation An assessment of the prioritisation of the London Planning Advisory Committees proposals and objectives for creating a sustainable transport system (found in London Planning Advisoty Committee: 1994 Advice on Strategic Planning Guidance for London) An assessment of each borough’s response to the creation of a London-wide transport and land-use planning body. . as researched immediately aRer the release of PPG13 in 1994. Where information was insufficient. in order to ascertain the existing framework for sustainable policy implementation. (see figure 1 ) to assess the areas of research outlined above. Initially. 13 boroughs were included in the survey. Thus threatening the physical. The results are illustrated in figure 2. social and economic future of the metropolis. In order to conduct this assessment criteria to measure the sustainability of each boroughs transport strateby were required Eventually a system was opted for. an inventory of ‘green’ initiatives within each borough was carried out. which adapted criteria outlined by the London Planning Advisory Committee for the creation of a sustainable transport strategy. * 3.The economic losses for operators and employers are increasing as congestion becomes more of a problem. An assessment of the sustainability of borough transport policy and implementation for both movement of people and freight was then completed. These criteria were chosen as they were compiled especially for the London area after consultation with the boroughs. additional data was obtained through the borough’s Transport Policy Programmes.

which was reflected in the point weighting (see appendix 1). either accessibility or environmental criteria. Broadly speaking the criteria were sub-divided into 2 types: criteria for environmental protection and criteria for accessibility. rather than accessibility. then it scored less than those incorporating both. For each borough the following study areas were assessed using the scoring system described above. These were: * Initiatives and policies designed to encourage modal-shift Initiatives and policies designed to co-ordinate transport strategies and development of land. The assessment fell into 6 categories desibmed to examine the proactive and restrictive transport strategies operated in each borough.Using these criteria. Initiatives and policies specifically designed to restrict private car use Initiatives and policies to ensure accessibility to all people. The London Planning Advisory Committee criteria were more heavily biased towards environmental protection. was assessed. * * * * * A weighting system was constructed whereby those policies and initiatives which fulfilled a greater number of criteria. the sustainability of each boroughs transport strateby ( a combination of policies and initiatives). If a policy or initiative fulfilled only one criteria. scored a greater number of points. Initiatives and policies designed to increase security and safety in the transport sector. Weighting was decided using the initiaI criteria outlined earlier. Initiatives and policies designed to use transport to facilitate growth and development. * Traffic management initiatives (see figure 3) Modal shift initiatives (see figure 4) Transport accessibility and development initiatives (see figure 5 ) Finance for initiatives (see figure 5) Borough policy (see figure 6 ) * * * * .

The key objectives and proposals as suggested by LPAC in Advice on Strategic Planning Guidance for London (1994) were as follows: Objectives: * * * Increase accessibility between activities ( 1) Transport for development and regeneration (2) Environmental considerations and reduction in travel (3) Efficient use of scarce resources (4) Safety and security (5) * * * * * * * Proposals Co-ordinate land use and transport planning ( 1 ) Restrain car use (2) Improve traffic management (3) Improve cycling and walking facilities (4) Improve assisting measures for the mobility handicapped ( 5 ) Enhance transport efficiency and modal diversity ( 6 ) Enhance international transport networks (7) * * . Further analysis was carried out relating the effect of the location of the borough and political control on baseline policy and implementation (see figure 8). Offering an evaluation of the sustainability of transport strategies in London Boroughs before the implementation ofPPG13. restrictive and proactive transport strategies during 1994. A second study was carried out to assess the priontisation of the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC) proposals and objectives for creating a sustainable transport strategy.This study provided an inventory of baseline transport policy and implementation.A total sustainability score was then calculated for each borough in the sample (see figure 7) The boroughs were then ranked according to their sustainability score.

The most sustainable transport initiatives exist in inner London.g. nonconservative controlled authorities including Sutton. Wandsworth is a flagship borough for the Conservative administration. Lewisham. the impact of freight and passenger traffic has been restricted to these corridors. Camden. Labour-controlled boroughs (e. Therefore it has the resources to spend on the implementation and policing of various sustainable transport initiatives including: the provision of cycle ways and strict parking controls. and Southwark). retail and industrial development has been concentrated in areas serviced by the few major transport corridors found in the borough.apparent that sustainability of borough transport strategy varies both with location and political control . Kingston and Havering. further research was carried out to assess the response of local authorities to the creation of a London-wide strategic land-use and transport planning body (see figure 10). the aim of the research being to assess the level of agreement and co-ordination relating to sustainable transport priorities and objectives between boroughs (see figure 9). conservative-controlled borough. In contrast Kensington and Chelsea has suffered from diversity of land use within the borough and the fact that the area acts as a retail magnet.Each borough was asked to prioritise the objectives and proposals listed. an inner London. Exceptions to these trends included Wandsworth. 3. Kensington and Chelsea has the least sustainable transport strategy of those boroughs surveyed. Such a body would ultimately unify borough transport priorities and co-ordinate a sustainable transport strategy Londonwide. The growth of commercial. Those scoring higher for sustainable transport are inner London. These factors allow a more sustainable transport strategy to operate. but the most sustainable transport policies are found in Outer London. Labour-controlled boroughs. The explanation for these anomalies can be discussed further. Wandsworth has the second most sustainable transport strategy in the survey. The borough is also mainly residential. The provision of public transport services is excellent within the areas of high retail concentration. leading to social isolation or increasing car use. The strict enforcement of traffic management initiatives within the boroughs also allow for the free-flow of traffic within these corridors. Conservative-controlled boroughs (Bromley. yet it is an inner London borough. This causes problems with heavy traffic flow in the areas of high retail concentration as a result of both deliveries and shoppers. Therefore. Ealing and Bamet). General trends indicate that those under conservative control score a lower sustainability value. Kensington and Chelsea. well connected with retail and commercial centres by an efficient rail and bus network. It is a capital rich borough and thus its expenditure is correspondingly high. Political control appears to affect the borough policies and expenditure relating to transport strategy. The least sustainable transport strategies are operated in outer London. Kingston and Havering. but there are areas which are not adequately serviced in the borough. .3 Evaluation It is. The variables of political control and geographical location were incorporated into the study To enhance the findings of this study.

Inner London boroughs transport strategies (both initiatives and policies combined) are more sustainable why? The comparatively high sustainability of Inner London boroughs transport initiatives. to the level subscribed to in Inner London.Social polarisation within the borough is extreme and thus accessibility issues arise. But transport policies are equally sustainable in Inner and Outer London boroughs. certainly not incorporated sustainable policies into their Transport Policies Programme. (with a few exceptions. resulting from high density development and mixed-uses. However. Overall. Finally. Without a great deal of expenditure and a change in land-use pattern. environmental considerations and reduction in travel are the main objectives in creating a sustainable transport strateby (see fig 9a). However it is quite possible that in the succeeding years this situation has been rectified and sustainable transport policies have been incorporated into the more up-to-date version of the Transport Policy Programme. Kingston and Newham. but because Outer London boroughs have poor public transport links and land-use activities which are more dispersed.Kensington and Chelsea. Finally at this early stage Kensington and Chelsea had not truly considered the implications of the revised version of PPG13. . Firstly. Inner London boroughs also have more stringent traffic management measures. Within Inner London the need to travel is reduced by the shorter distances between activities. encourage focal points and mixed-use development would also be required. (see figure 3). (and further from major transport terminals). Outer London boroughs transport policies are equally as sustainable as Inner London boroughs transport policies ( see figure 8). Inner London boroughs implement more sustainable transport initiatives than Outer London boroughs. Outer London boroughs consider that transport efficiency. in order to emulate the lnner London. traffic management and improving transport access for the mobility handicapped ( see figure 5). this will not alter. Changes in land-use pattern to increase densities in the suburbs. see figures 7 and 8). a great deal of expenditure would be required to improve the transport network. modal-diversity. All these are sustainable objectives. tt is likely that suburban boroughs will tend to have less sustainable transport strategies. Thus. Boroughs in Inner London also have better access to major transport terminals and nationallinternational networks ( see figure 5 ) . Inner London boroughs are inclined to spend a &Teater proportion of their budget on encouraging modal-shift. Kensington and Chelsea still has major problems in implementing such policies due to polarisation of the boroughs population and the dispersed nature and lack of inter-connectivity between land use and transport systems Generally. most Inner London boroughs are well served by the public transport system and hence have a high propensity for modalshift (see figure 4). which reduces car use and encourages modal-shift. can easily be explained.

Observers suggested the following as possible solutions: * * * The hypothecation of taxes from congestion pricing and fuel tax invested in the public transport system The reassessment of London’s transport budget to place greater emphasis on public transport (as suggested by Transport 2000) Funding received through planning obligations placed on any new development . The highest ranked LPAC objective within the London boroughs also varies with location and political control. especially within non-conservative controlled boroughs in Outer London. Finally it appears from the third assessment. (see figure 10 ). 15. The least important objective for this group being the efficient use of scarce resources in transport initiatives. but consistency in priority for inner London boroughs and similarly for outer London boroughs. The most important objective for outer London conservativecontrolled authorities and inner London conservative-controlled authorities is to reduce travel and increase environmental consideration initiatives. The most important objectives according to inner London Labourcontrolled authorities and outer London non-conservative controlled authorities is the promotion of development and regeneration through transport initiatives.’ respondents to the baseline study suggested various innovations to the transport strategy in London. 23% were against.There were various findings relating to the boroughs response to LPAC’s objectives and proposals for creating sustainable transport strategies ( listed in 3. The results showed that 46% of those asked were in favour of a London-wide body of this sort. Consensus of opinion in these matters is lacking. suggest the need for some degree of co-ordination. Financing sustainable transport strategies was seen as a major obstacle to implementation. strategic land use and transport planning body to co-ordinate strategy and opinion.2). ( although this varies with political control). Certainly the lack of consensus between boroughs in prioritising LPAC’s objectives and proposals for a sustainable transport strategy. which indicates the need for a London-wide. The least important objective being the need to increase accessibility of the transport system. Also poor co-ordination of traffic management schemes London-wide point to a need for overall co-ordination.5% felt that the London Planning Advisory Committee already fulfilled the role satisfactorily. that the majority of boroughs questioned believe a London-wide transport and land-use planning body is needed to co-ordinate and manage a sustainable transport strategy successfully. generally finding that transport efficiency and modal diversity is highest ranked. From this. Boroughs of all types appear to view LPAC’s proposal to enhance international transport networks as being of least importance. The findings indicated a wide variation in borough policy priorities.5% abstained and the remaining 15.

In order to achieve this development needs to be concentrated in existing transport comdors and thus an assessment of all transport corridors in London for possible development opportunities is required. It was suggested that this could be achieved through: * * The creation of a strategic London-wide body controlling transport and development decisions on a London-wide basis.Respondents also suggested that the integration of land use and transport strategies was the key to a sustainable transport system. on an 8 year election cycle.elected by proportional representation . HMSO. Such a body should be elected. policies and implementation as it existed in a sample of London boroughs in 1994. Respondents to the survey also outlined schemes to encourage modal shift in both passenger and freight transport.25% of the members elected once every 2 years. but in order to allow continuity of policy elections should take the following format- .or a QUANGO of which half the representatives were elected by the Secretary of State and half by proportional representation (on an 8-10 year basis). CONCLUSIONS Conclusions from this research suggested the following: * To provide an outline of baseline characteristics for freight and passenger transport. These included: * * The creation of an orbital light-rail network linking the SWOPTIONS scheme with other suburban rail/ tram routes. answerable ideally to a democratically elected regional authority or a Minister for London. Re-use of canals and River Thames for freight and passenger transport Introduction of trolley-buses in the West End and the City * Finally the respondents highlighted the need for a co-ordinating body to implement policies London-wide. as outlined in the revised PPG13 and London Transport Policies and Programmes 1995-6: Draft Guidance to Local Authorities. London. (1994). * 4. . promote modal shift and co-ordinate traffic restraint policies.4 The strategic body would co-ordinate land use and transport strategies. post PPG13 .

Strategic Planning Guidance for London (1994). It would be useful to conduct a series of similar surveys at intervals in order to ascertain the impact of the new policy guidance on transport policy and implementation. Certainly after each Unitary Development Plan update a similar survey should be conducted to monitor the incorporation of policy guidance into the plan and it’s success at a local level. using the LPAC criteria listed in I . for example a London-wide strategic land use planning and transport body. the possibility of future deregulation of the bus network and the certain privatisation of some parts of the rail network. to administer sustainable transport policy. it must not be overlooked that transport operators play a major part in provision. London Planning Advisory Committee. using the criteria for sustainable transport systems outlined by the London Planning Advisory Committee (see 1. improvements in policy and implementation which have resulted from the guidance in 1994 can be monitored. and co-ordination of transport strategies between boroughs To ascertain support in the sample boroughs for support for a London-wide strategic land use and transport planning body. as can the co-ordination of borough transport strategies on a Londonwide basis. including: the revised version ofPPG13 (1994). Therefore. which must also be monitored. Using this research the shortfalls in freight and passenger transport policy and implementation during this period have been highlighted. * * * To assess the sample boroughs prioritisation of the objectives and proposals for sustainable transport strategies outlined by the London Planning Advisory Committee (see 3. Further to this the establishment of new administrative structures.2. Draft Guidance to Local Authorities on London’s Transport Policies and Programmes for 1995-96 (1994). However. The author has mentioned here the instrumental role of governmental institutions in the creation of policy and implementation. This is also certain to impact on the sustainability of the transport system in operation and thus should be monitored. Changes in political control within the local authorities has also been shown to affect policy and financing of various transport strategies and thus monitoring change resulting from political shifts would be essential. the Department of Transport. certainly for passenger transport.* To assess the sustainability of freight and passenger transport policies and their implementation in 1994. By utilising this baseline information. . the impact of any change in policy or practice generated by the operator must be monitored too. For example. is also likely to affect policy and implementation. will have implications for both passenger and freight transport.2) To ascertain the sample boroughs support for these objectives and proposals. Also the incorporation of LPAC’s proposals and objectives in borough transport strategies can be monitored. In conducting this research the author provides an outline of the situation regarding sustainable transport policy and implementation at the introduction of the relevant guidance 1994.2).

World Commission on Environment and Development. Oppurtunities und Initiatives for Sustumuhle Trufic and Transport in ilrhun Kegions in 1:urope. M et al . 1993.ondun Trunsport Policies und f’rrigrummes 1995-6: Ilrufr (.2).ocul Authorities. London ( Mphil thesis). T. Finally. the framework outlined here can be used to monitor the impact of new transport technologies introduced within the London area. Williams. A hnsportution Study . London Planning Advisory Committee.A Guide to I. London. 1994. 1994. listed in 3. 1994 A Sustuinuhle Trunsport Strulely5ir Metropolrtun 1. LGMB.ondon. HMSO.ondon. Reducing Emissions Through Plunning.ocul Agendu 21: A Frumework for Imcul . LGMB.’ulure.uidunce to l. to be fulfilled on a London-wide basis.sporl :i’tYi13 (revised version). IY9-l Advice on Strutegic I’lunnig (. 1992.Obviously.2 . Moving 7owurd. J. Ecotec and Research Consulting. HMSO. LPAC. London.ondun. 1. 1987.fiw Plymouth . London. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Deelstra. 1993. UCL . Department of Transport (London Policy Division).stuinuhility. 1. Luton. Secondly to ascertain whether the new technology actually enables LPAC’s proposals and objectives.ocul Authorrties. London. Local Government Management Board. Greater London Group. London. Plunnig Policy (hidunce: 7iun.uiduncefor /. major changes in operation are ultimately controlled by Central Government through policy and legislation. The Hrundtlund . measured against the LPAC criteria (see I . Environmentul Action Local Government Management Board. Trunsport Options jiv /. 1994. Departments of Environment and Transport. The I<( ‘ Ys I~$h f’rogrumme .s Sustuinuhle Mobility. 1993. Hatt. Glaister.Su. Kcyorl: Our ( ’ommonI. 1993. S et a1 . HMSO. Oxford University Press. Oxford.199 1. London. It would be extremely interesting to assess whether new technologies introduced can actually enable the existing transport system to operate in a more sustainable manner.

Bromley. Kensington and Chelsea. Lewisham. . Wandsworth. Newham. Kingston. Camden. Ealing.Other Sources: Unitary development plans and Transport Policy and Progammes from the following boroughs: Barnet. Southwark. The Corporation of London. Sutton. Havering.

Initiatives or policies designed to ensure accessibility to all people score for accessibility criteria only scores 3 points. . Initiatives or policies designed to increase security and safety of transport (thus improving access to all groups in society) score for accessibility criteria only: scores 1 point. to facilitate growth and development score for accessibility criteria only (fulfilling the LPAC criteria to provide a transport system are equally distributed between all people): scores 2 points. Initiatives or policies to encourage modal shift score for both environmental scores for both environmental and accessibility criteria: scores 6 points. Initiatives or policies designed to co-ordinate transport development and land use score for both environmental and social criteria. (although possibly not as appropriate in London as encouraging modal shift.APPENDIX 1: SIJMMARY OF POINT WEIGHTING SYSTEM FOR SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT POLICIES AND INITIATIVES. Initiatives or policies designed to use transport which is accessible to all people. Initiatives or policies designed to'restrict car use score for environmental criteria only: scores 4 points. which is more realistic) : scores 5 points.

.FIGURE 1 :Location and Politics of Boroughs in Survey. (Source: J. Williarns 1994).

(Source: J.. . - I -. I I I ._ . . . 1994.BOROUGHS. . - -- - Green Initiatives in the London Boroughs. Williams .

(Source:. .X Williams 1994).r I I - raffrc Managementhitiatives to Promote Sustainable Transport t oughs.

.

.

.

7 :Sustainability of Borough Transport Policy and Initiatives : A y. . Williams 1994). J.

7.LL TRENDS IN SUSTAINABILITYSCORES FOR TRANSPORT WITHIN LONDON.7 - I I 8 :Overall Trends in Sustainability Scores :A Summary.. 1994 I . (Source: J. - . 1994).

Transport System in London. Williams 1994). (Source: J. .

Williams 1994). Bodv Exists Abstained 15% Ye 47% 23% . (Source: J.FIGURE I0 : Need for a London-Wide Integrated Landuse and Transport Planning Bodv.