There’s good news for our patch of north London as well as the planet thanks to the action of our councils. But - and there had to be a but - while many north London boroughs are reducing car use and associated climate emissions, as well as pollution, inactivity, road danger and congestion, too much of the capital lags behind.

London Cycling Campaign’s recent major report, Climate Safe Streets: One Year On, One Year To Go highlights climate commitments made and progress on decarbonising roads across London, with the current Mayor having one year before election, and one year on from council elections.

The good news is not only have the councils this paper covers made bold commitments to act on the climate crisis; they’re also actively delivering ‘Climate Safe Streets’ programmes where walking, cycling and wheeling are prioritised over private motor vehicles. Deeds of course being greater than words in politics.

Ham & High: Simon Munk is pleased about the work local councils are doing towards 'Climate Safe Streets'Simon Munk is pleased about the work local councils are doing towards 'Climate Safe Streets' (Image: LCC)

Despite controversy that dogs any move away from car use in our city, despite LTNs (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods) being a four-letter word to The Mail and Telegraph, and despite cycle tracks facing similar attacks from some quarters, by the report’s analysis Camden, Haringey and Islington sit alongside neighbours Hackney, Waltham Forest and further afield Lambeth in the top tier of boroughs taking action to decarbonise roads.

London as a whole however faces a postcode lottery on such delivery. Nearby boroughs Barnet, Brent and Harrow are falling further behind on delivering Climate Safe Streets, but even these laggards are streets ahead of Tower Hamlets, Bromley, Hillingdon and Bexley, named as the worst for delivery in London.

Boroughs failing to deliver have very real knock-on effects on those taking action – cars don’t just get driven in one borough, and pollutions, emissions and road danger aren’t issues confined to one location. That’s why we’re urging residents in Hampstead, Highgate and beyond to not just enthusiastically support schemes that help people ditch the car where possible – even when it means a bit of inconvenience to their car use – but more, join us in asking for rollout of such schemes across London.

We need all of London to be taking a leaf out of north London’s book.

For more information and the full report:

  • Simon Munk is head of campaigns for the London Cycling Campaign (LCC).