Terry Hughes from Havering Cyclists today gives his response to Havering being at the bottom of the Healthy Streets Scorecard.
News of the 2021 Healthy Streets Scorecard published this week brings disappointment that Havering now ranks 32nd out of 33 London boroughs.
In a turbulent year of pandemic and upheaval that saw other boroughs take advantage of emergency government funding to ease the burden on roads and public transport and roll out protected cycle lanes and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Havering has made no progress at all in encouraging people to cycle and walk.
In the Covid lockdown we saw many more people making the most of the lack of motor traffic to walk and cycle much more but as the lockdown ended and motor traffic levels have returned, so the status quo has all but resumed with people chased off the streets once more.
Providing safe space for cycling is important because as more people cycled, the poor infrastructure left many at risk and we have seen an increase in road traffic injuries to cyclists in Havering, tragically including two deaths in the same area within the space of one week in January 2021.
Council leader Damian White did commit last August to doing all he could “to secure funding for active travel”, however, nothing at all appears to have changed for active travel in the borough.
While we recognise the financial constraints, we would really like him to work with us to develop plans to make both minor low-cost improvements as well as having some more ambitious schemes in hand for the time when funding does become available, which we know from experience is often presented at short notice.”
The Healthy Streets Scorecard shows to what extent all London Boroughs are putting in place five key measures which will dramatically improve air quality and road safety, boost active lifestyles and reduce carbon emissions. It also sets out data to show the health of each borough’s streets. The full details of Havering’s scorecard report can be viewed here: