Dan Hubert, Founder & CEO of AppyWay welcomes the Mayor’s Streetscape plan for a green London recovery,

Yesterday’s announcement from the Mayor of London is an important step in helping London recover from the Covid-19 pandemic in a way that is cleaner, greener and far more sustainable. The ability to initiate these types of reactive changes is something we have been championing at AppyWay for a long time. The ability to make cities dynamic, kerbsides dynamic, in a way that allows authorities to adapt to the changing demands on the kerb, pre-pandemic and now in our new normal. 

As the Mayor states, there is a real risk of Londoners opting for personal car use when workplaces and the economy begin to reopen. London’s roads already exist in a somewhat permanent state of congestion, if even a fraction of the population choose their cars over active travel the city will grind to a halt.  

It is worth pointing out however, that there are conflicting opinions on what a new normal for London travel could look like. We are likely, for many months, to continue working from home where possible. This will keep public transport and car usage down for the foreseeable future. Many Londoners are also choosing to drive less with bike shops seeing a huge increase in business since lockdown began as people look to avoid public transport. 

It could also be argued that avoiding public transport, coupled with the lack of pedestrian and cycle infrastructure could lead to increase in personal car use and people actively seeking to purchase a car for a non-car household, as has been the case in China

It’s clear the future is really uncertain and now is the time for London to pivot its transport strategies to ensure a greener recovery from Covid-19. Both TfL and the London Boroughs will need the tools to be quicker to adapt. The temporary changes that are underway are great, but the public will need to be taken on a journey if London is to achieve the reshaping of its transport and to take advantage of cleaner air, and improved access for a variety of modes of travel. 

Camden social distancing pathway

Temporary pathway expansion on Camden High Street

How will TfL and the boroughs do this? How will London authorities manage the changes in the short and long term? 

At the very heart of kerbside changes in the capital are Traffic Management Orders (TMOs). Historically, amending or creating TMOs involves a very costly analogue process that can take anywhere between 6 to 18 months at £6000 per change. This is time and money that London boroughs do not have. Incidentally the UK spends £126.4m on this antiquated regulatory process at a time when authorities are facing even more austerity measures. Whilst special measures have been put in place to allow authorities to make rapid temporary changes, if we want to see more pedestrian and cycle space become embedded and permanent, these schemes will drain already limited funds required for new TMOs to be created, consulted upon with the public and then published.  

This is where our solution Mapper comes in. Mapper has been specifically designed to tackle the most pressing traffic order challenges authorities face, whilst providing them processes and functionality tailor-made to meet future kerbside management demands and ensuring the public are informed and empowered throughout the process.  

Mapper’s capabilities have never been more needed. Fortunately we are soon to announce two London’s boroughs primed and ready with Mapper to adapt their kerbsides inline with the Mayor’s Streetscape plan. London’s first two Mapper customers will digitally transform how they manage their TMOs with 83% more efficiencies, enabling them to move London into this next stage. 

I look forward to announcing these customers in due course but for now, I encourage you to reach out to AppyWay to discuss any challenges you may have. We’re all in this together and AppyWay is ready to ensure London continues to thrive during these challenging times. 

 

For more information:

Mapper and Public Consultation Portal

Traffic Order Engagement in Cambridge

Digitising traffic orders for a smarter kerbside