Mayor of London plans to ban car parking spaces in new homes, office buldings

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans to ban car parking spaces from new residential buildings and office blocks in the city in an attempt to cut car use in the capital.

The plan is part of the Mayor’s new Transport Strategy which aims to reduce road congestion and air pollution. The plan is subject to public consultation.

Spaces for disabled people will still be allowed and cycle parking will be broadly increased.

Mr Khan said: “To secure the future health and prosperity of our city, we need to be bolder in encouraging people to reduce their reliance on cars.

“It’s essential for dealing with congestion as London’s population grows, and crucial for reducing our toxic air pollution emissions.

“My draft London Plan will set out how I want to transform how London’s infrastructure works, making cycling and walking a safe and convenient alternative for millions more journeys every day.

“If you buy or rent a home in London and make regular journeys to the work or shops, I want to see safe and secure cycle parking available for every journey, across all parts of the city.

“For too long our housing and infrastructure has been built solely around the car.”

A £10 toxicity T-Charge was introduced last month in central London for vehicles which do not meet the Euro 4 emissions standard, which is generally those registered before 2006.

It covers the same area and operating times as the existing congestion charge zone, which runs on weekdays between 7am and 6pm.

The plans have been criticised by some, however, who claim the plans are “short sighted” and put too much power in the Mayor’s hands.

A spokesman for the RAC told the Standard: “These proposals are very short sighted. They fail to recognise that cars will still be required for a high proportion of journeys between London and other parts of the UK poorly served by public transport.

“Restricting car parking spaces in new developments may also have implications on personal mobility, particularly for the elderly.

“The Mayor also runs the risk that car owners will inevitably seek on-road parking if there is no off-road car parking provision, which could bring chaos to some nearby streets.”

Tony Devenish, a Conservative member of the London Assembly, also raised concerns, saying the plans amounted to a “cynical power-grab” from local authorities.

He said: “These plans are clearly not going to have a particular impact, except perhaps on the absolute outskirts of London.

“You ask any politician across the spectrum – from Lib Dem to UKIP – and they will tell you local planning needs to be in the hands of local councils.

“Each one is different and it doesn’t make sense just to introduce city-wide rules like this. Some developments are in need of parking, others can do without.

“I would say to all Londoners: The devil is in the detail. Please read as much of Mr Khan’s plans as possible because otherwise they will go ahead before anyone has raised any proper concerns.”

Roger Geffen, policy director at charity Cycling UK, said there is an urgent need to make London and other cities more cycle-friendly and less car-dependent to create “healthier streets and a thriving economy”.

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