The Mayor's Transport Strategy (MTS) was published in March 2018 and sets out the strategic direction for transport in London over the next 2 decades. The MTS seeks to deliver the integration of land use and transport, and the provision of a robust and resilient public transport network, with an ambitious aim to reduce Londoners' dependency on cars in favour of increased walking, cycling and public transport use. It sets out three priority themes for delivery:
- healthy streets and healthy people
- a good public transport experience
- new homes and jobs
Borough councils are required to set out their proposals for implementing the MTS in their area. This is through the Local Implementation Plan (LIP). It is a legal requirement under the GLA Act 1999 section 145 for borough councils to prepare a LIP "as soon as reasonably practicable" after the Mayor has published his transport strategy. The draft Croydon LIP3 was submitted to the TfL, GLA and other statutory consultees (including general public) in November 2018. TfL, GLA and statutory consultees responded to the draft LIP3 with comments by the end of December 2018. Croydon council submitted the final LIP3 on 16th February 2019 to TfL reflecting the comments received in the consultation period. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of London approved Croydon's LIP3 in April 2019 (see LIP approval letter).
Croydon's third Local Implementation Plan (LIP3) sets out our priorities and proposals to support and implement: the Mayor of London's Transport Strategy (MTS) objectives and priorities; draft London Plan growth objectives; and our Corporate Plan and Local Plan ambitions, in order to deliver 'Good Growth', ensuring that a future Croydon and London are not just bigger but are even better places. The Growth Zone (Croydon Town Centre), with its excellent public transport accessibility and connectivity, is the focus for much of this growth. The Growth Zone is also the name given to our financing mechanism to deliver the infrastructure to ensure Good Growth. Our Growth Zone financing will support national rail, tram, bus walking and cycling infrastructure improvements and major improvements to the public realm.
The overarching aim of the MTS is 80% of all journeys in London to be made by sustainable means (namely on foot, by cycle or public transport) by 2041. Croydon is currently at 49%. TfL estimates that Croydon needs to reach a 63% sustainable mode share by 2041 if the London-wide target is to be achieved. It is at the Growth Zone that we will need to work hardest to achieve this borough-wide objective. It is here that the potential for walking and cycling is greatest and public transport is at its best. By 2041, the sustainable mode share for the Growth Zone will need to approach the 80% target set for London as a whole, if we are to reach 63% of all journeys made by sustainable means averaged across the borough.
The LIP3 ranges from mega-rail infrastructure projects to small local initiatives to create safer and healthier streets. It features:
- the £2.5 billion project to increase capacity on the Brighton Mainline and rebuild East Croydon Station into a bigger and world class station.
- proposals to work with TfL to:
- investigate means of financing extensions to the Tramlink network and to deliver extensions supporting the Growth Zone and wider Good Growth
- review bus services in the north and south of the borough to deliver the bus capacity and new types of service to meet the differing patterns of growth north and south
- Major Healthy Street Approaches and Liveable Neighbourhood proposals on the main road and street corridors radiating from the Growth Zone
- Working with schools and the neighbouring communities to develop and deliver 'Healthy Schools Neighbourhoods' in which it is easier and more enjoyable for all to move around on foot and on bike.
Consultation and engagement activities have been undertaken with over 1,000 residents, businesses, visitors and workers responding. They identified that traffic dominance and the fear of road danger were key factors in why people in Croydon were not walking or cycling more often. They also identified that the school run and associated vehicle trips were key causal factors for congestion and high car trips in the borough, and should be an area of intervention that is prioritised.
The core transport challenge affecting the borough is the level of car use and the resulting dominance of vehicular traffic, which gives rise to impacts including noise and air pollution, road danger and community severance. A shift away from the private car, particularly for short (and medium-length) local trips is essential, if the growth, health, access and environmental objectives identified in the local policies and the MTS are to be achieved. The council will focus the limited resources that are provided through LIP funding on areas of the borough that have been identified as having the greatest potential for meeting the MTS outcomes and targets. This will include factors such as; accident history, propensity to walk and cycle, propensity to shift from car use, higher levels of deprivation, poorer air quality and the number of schools and other sensitive sites such as hospitals.
The LIP3 document outlines a 3 year programme of investment that delivers: improvements to walking and cycling routes; the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and car club vehicles; a Healthy Schools Neighbourhoods programme; virtual hub and electric bike share schemes; improved bus accessibility in suburban areas; Vision Zero Safer Streets schemes (zero killed or serious accidents by 2041); traffic reduction strategies; and a Liveable Neighbourhood proposal to reconnect Old Town with adjacent residential areas, reversing the severance caused by the ring road. Beyond the 3 year programme of investment the plan outlines a programme of longer term projects and transport aspirations that will be delivered through other means but will also contribute to delivering the Mayor's Transport Strategy outcomes.