Havering 'committed to green future' as study finds it is one of worst in London for cyclists
- Credit: PA
Havering is one of the worst London boroughs for cyclists and for implementing changes to create healthier streets, a new study has claimed.
Out of 33 London authorities, Havering came out second from last on a metric created by the Healthy Streets Scorecard coalition, which includes transport, health, road safety and environment campaigners.
The data takes into account that Havering is one of the “few” boroughs not to have declared a climate emergency and claims “little progress” has been made to implement schemes such as protected cycle tracks.
However, Havering’s cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Osman Dervish, said the authority is working hard to maintain Havering's place as "one of the greenest and cleanest boroughs in London".
He said it had applied for a number of grants to improve cycle infrastructure, supports cycling and walking projects within schools and takes part in both Transport for London’s (TfL's) Healthy Street Officer and STARS programmes.
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The study claims that if you add up the length of all of Havering's roads, only one per cent are protected cycle tracks, compared to the City of London's 21pc and Waltham Forest's 12pc.
It also claims fewer than one pc of Havering residents cycle at least five times per week, compared to boroughs such as Newham with 4pc.
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Additionally, Havering was ranked 22 out of 33 for “regular walking”.
However, the level of sustainable travel - classed as walking, cycling and public transport - is up from 42pc in 2020 to 45pc in 2021.
Havering was found to have the lowest cycling casualties of all London boroughs at 2.5pc, compared to the highest outer London borough of Barking and Dagenham with 20.9pc.
Only nearly 10pc of roads in Havering have a 20mph speed limit, the coalition says, and 12pc are covered by controlled parking zones.
This compares to inner London boroughs including Tower Hamlets, Westminster and Islington, which were found to have controlled parking on all roads.
However, Cllr Dervish added that Havering is an outer London borough and cannot be easily compared to areas of inner London.
The study found only seven pc of areas which are "appropriate" for low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Havering, as identified by TfL's Strategic Neighbourhood Analysis, make use of the traffic reduction schemes.
This is less than the London average of 19pc and Waltham Forest are reportedly using 47pc of its suitable roads for LTNs, according to the coalition.
Cllr Dervish said: “Unlike many other boroughs who chose to tear up their streets for the LTNs scheme – we chose to listen to our residents."
He alleged these schemes have "increased pollution" elsewhere and sometimes "had to be reversed".
Commenting on the council's 13 School Streets schemes, which restricts traffic around schools at drop-off and pick-up times, the coalition said they were implemented at just four out of 18 schools in Havering - five pc of the borough's primaries and secondaries.
However, Havering is in the top quartile of boroughs for how many schools have achived STARS behaviour change accreditation, which aims to inspire young people to think differently about travel and its impact.
Ranking in the top three with Hillingdon and Harrow for high levels of car ownership, Havering was found to have 109 cars per 100 households compared to the London average of 75.
Cllr Dervish said this is because Havering does not have an "extensive network of tube stations" like other boroughs.
"We are calling for better public transport links," he said. "Poor connections from the north to the south currently mean many residents have no choice but to get in their cars to make journeys."
He said the council is "committed to a cleaner and greener future" but added it will be delivered for the "many", not the "few".