TfL has today announced that £170,000 has been made available for five business groups across London to fund innovative projects that will reduce traffic, ease congestion and improve air quality.
The funding from TfL’s Healthy Streets Fund for Business will be matched by the business groups themselves. For the first time, funding is being awarded to business groups to enable employees to walk and cycle to work.
According to TFL, goods vehicle movements in the capital have increased by as much as 20% over the last decade, contributing to congestion, filthy air and increased road danger. The five new schemes being joint funded by TfL will include initiatives to enable cycle freight, enable people to cycle to work and reduce freight vehicle movements on the roads.
The Aldgate, Bermondsey, Hammersmith, Hatton Garden and Steatham areas form the basis of the schemes. Bermondsey will see a cargo bike scheme and storage space implemented in the area’s Blue Marketplace, which will allow traders to move more goods by bike.
Jack Shah, Chair of Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District, said: “This is fantastic news for businesses at the Blue. This funding from TfL will be used to improve business cycling, including a shared cargo bike trial at the Blue, as well as better storage for market traders. Longer term, there is a huge opportunity for new cycle routes at the Blue which could link up along the Low Line with other areas such as London Bridge and Bankside.
“Business cargo bikes could use these routes for last mile zero emissions deliveries during weekday daytimes, to help reduce air pollution for our local communities. Residents and visitors could also enjoy cycling along the Low Line in the evenings and at weekends, bringing new customers to businesses at the Blue.”
Steatham will also have a shared cargo bike scheme implemented to enable small and medium-sized independent businesses to replace cars and vans with cycle freight. The bikes will be available to businesses in the area to use free of charge by using a booking app. A full list of the schemes and what they entail can be found here.
Louise Abbotts, BID Manager at InStreatham, said: “We are a high road of independent businesses who are passionate about improving air quality and growing the offer for our local customers. InStreatham BID is therefore delighted to have been chosen for support from the Healthy Streets Fund for Business to help to deliver our ambitions of providing alternative ways for customers to get their goods in Streatham.
“The shared cargo bike scheme will offer businesses choice for making local deliveries and hopefully influence the ways in which customers travel to the High Road to make bulk purchases.”
Sadiq Khan is aiming to reduce the number of lorries and vans entering central London in the morning peak by 10% by 2026. The Mayor and TfL are also aiming for 80% of journeys in London to be made by walking, cycling and public transport by 2041.
ULEZ was launched in central London on 8th April. From 25th October 2021, the ULEZ boundary will be extended to create a single larger zone bounded by the North and South Circular Roads.
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “We have no option but to be smarter in how our streets work. With London’s population growing, congestion is not only costly and inefficient for businesses, but has a damaging knock-on effect on air quality and our environment.
“I’m delighted that this funding will not only support innovative projects that reduce the impact of the growing number of deliveries and collections, but also enable more employees to walk and cycle to work.”