Thursday, September 07, 2006

London bucks the national spiral of congestion and pollution

From London Assembly Green Group press release:

New Government statistics show that London has started to reverse many of the worse national trends on growing car ownership and the decline in environmental forms of transport. Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the London Assembly has welcomed three crucial differences between London and the rest of the UK, which are making London a healthier and less polluted city.

Car ownership per household has increased dramatically in the UK, but has declined in London. The proportion of households in Great Britain with access to a car has risen to 75%. Whilst in London it has fallen to 61% of households without access to a car, up from a low point of 65% in the late nineties.

In the UK, the number of trips by bicycle has fallen between 1995/7 and 2005, by just over 20 per cent. This contrasts with the rapid growth of 50% in the number of journeys made by bike in London since 2001.

The number of trips by bus in London per person per year increased by 28 per cent while trips by bus outside London fell by 13 per cent (between 1995/7 and 2005)

Jenny Jones, the Mayor of London’s green transport adviser, said:

“London is a far from perfect city, but these Government statistics show how others have failed and London are starting to succeed. London’s transport system and its environment have both started to improve as a result of the congestion charge being introduced and increased investment in buses and cycling. Traffic stopped growing in London five years ago, but has continued growing in the rest of the country. Car ownership per household is rising fast throughout the UK, but is actually falling in London. People have begun to realise that car dominated streets and neighbourhoods don’t work. Congestion costs business and pollution costs people’s lives.”

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