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Southwark Council is consulting on their Climate Strategy.

Respond to the draft Climate Strategy consultation. Deadline is 15 January.

Below is our draft submission to the council. If you think we’ve missed something, contact us.

Southwark Cyclists’ response

The consultation is broken up into different themes. Our response is only in relation to transport and cycling so we do not have responses for every theme.

Buildings, construction and regeneration

The following policies should be included.

  • New housing should have a minimum required amount of secure bicycle parking. Ideally this would be greater than requirements in the London Plan.
  • All new developments should be car free in the borough.
  • The council should encourage the use of cargo cycles where feasible to reduce the carbon footprint of construction, refurbishment and regeneration projects.

Transport and Travel

The following policies should be included or changed under local and regional actions.

  • The first point should be changed to “Develop a network accessible, safe cycle ways and walking paths.” Routes must be connected to be used. Southwark Council should build on it’s cycling strategy. There should also be reference to quality standards for cycle ways.
  • There is no reference to low traffic neighbourhoods in the report. Combined with a network of main road cycle routes, low traffic neighbourhoods allow for safe local walking and cycling journeys while discouraging car use. Southwark should create low traffic neighbourhoods covering the entire borough.
  • Electric charging points should also be usable for electric bicycles. They should also be in the carriageway and not take up pavement space.
  • Every household in Southwark should have access to secure cycle parking. For estates and flats this means secure bike hangars, and this should include parking for cargo and accessible cycles.
  • Increase cycle parking across Southwark, including on high streets, transport hubs, near schools, GPs, and in residential areas.
  • Southwark Council should enact a parking reduction strategy to reallocate carriageway space for pavements, cycle parking, and trees.
  • Controlled parking zones must be smaller to prevent short trips and costs should be raised to reflect the true cost of parking, with funds used to deliver the climate strategy. We agree that polluting vehicles should pay more, but this should not mean electric vehicles should pay less considering manufacture of these vehicles has a large carbon footprint. Other contributors to PM2.5, such as break and tyre wear, should be factored in, in addition to tailpipe emissions.
  • Parking charges should also be higher for larger vehicles to disincentive their purchase.
  • The council should work with the Met to enforce 20mph speed limits as this reduces vehicle emissions.
  • All schools should have school streets or other mitigating factors to enable safety at the school gate and reduced air pollution. Where possible modal filters should be used to create a motor traffic free space in front of the school gate as has been done at Comber Grove, Camelot and Rye Oak primaries. The council should provide incentives for schools to implement school streets.
  • The council shall lobby TfL to implement smart user road charging.
  • The point on car free developments needs to be stronger. “All New developments and regenerated estates will be car free.”
  • Greater use of cargo bikes is included, but how will the council help businesses to adapt to use them. The council must develop a strategy and programme to incentivise cargo bike use as well as ensure residents have secure parking for their cargo bikes as well as supporting programmes to make it easier financially for people to purchase them.
  • In addition to the above point, some disabled people require a non-standard cycle. The council should support programmes to make it easier for people to access these cycles, store them, and park them at their destination if they use their cycle as a mobility aid.
  • All policies should have targets and deadlines.

Biodiversity, Trees and Green Spaces

Policies to add.

  • We agree with the point of closing streets to create more green space. Trees should not come at the expense of pavement space and should be planted in the carriageway using space that is currently used for private vehicle storage. This will also have a traffic calming impact on streets

Further Comments

The themes lead with individual actions. This sends the message that individual choice is the basis of this climate strategy. The focus should be on borough actions as the council has the greatest influence over these and they will set council policy.

The document makes reference to encouraging actions, particularly walking and cycling. We know that the public environment and our streets, need to change to enable people to walk and cycle.

This draft strategy must be reviewed by experts in the fields of the themes. To our knowledge there an expert review has not been done.

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