November 30, 2023

Hope for a Low Traffic Future

Envisioning a low traffic future can be hard, as a car reliant way of living has been instilled in us, but to think outside of this can be a hopeful thing too. A future where we are less car reliant looks like cleaner air, safer streets, healthier people and plenty of ways to get around like walking, cycling, bus and rail.

On Saturday 15th July, Hope for the Future was invited to deliver a session at a community event organised by the Low Traffic Future Alliance. The focus of the day was on Local Traffic Plans or Local Implementation Plans for those that live in London. It was incredible to see such a mix in the audience with local residents and those that had travelled far for the day.  

Earlier in the day we got to hear from Camcycle who are also a founding member of Cambridgeshire Sustainable Transport Alliance. They emphasised the role of community groups in supporting good practice. It really stood out to me how they had built relationships with other similar groups. This includes groups focused on walking, bus users, rail, and other cycling groups and they used their common ground to form a coalition in Cambridge to support sustainable transport in the area.

Out of a great choice of workshops, we attended the one on Local Implementation Plans in London by London Living Streets. Although these plans have been developed by many boroughs, there are still many ways residents can have a say, one of which could be through active transport groups being consulted. These plans have been developed using the Mayor of London’s transport strategy and using that, the plans can include cycling measures, active travel activations, low traffic neighbourhoods or school streets and more as long as they match up to the wider transport strategy for London. It was so great to be better informed about these plans and to hear from residents in the room what their priorities would be for sustainable transport in their boroughs.

The second workshop we attended was delivered by the Healthy Air Coalition and Low Traffic Future Alliance on the topic of reducing pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. This was a more discussion focussed session which went into topics such as road pricing and it was so beneficial to hear the wide ranging viewpoints in the room.

After this, Hope for the Future delivered our session on pushing for a low traffic future at the local government level. There were some councillors in the room too, so we used their expertise to learn how constituents can best engage with them and what effective actions and SMART asks could be in their contexts. We provided some scenario based questions too and everyone used the common ground approach to show how they would try to start an effective engagement with the councillors.

Overall, it was an incredible day organised by Low Traffic Future Alliance and alongside delivering a workshop, we also learnt so much from other workshop leaders and participants. The audience being made up of transport policy experts, local politicians, residents, and other organisations in the sector really aided this. It was so great to hear about all of the amazing work currently being done and to envision what a low traffic future that works for everyone could look like.

19 July 2023

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