• Sep 16th 2007 at 8:56AM
  • 6

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has made a commitment to reduce London's carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent by 2025. Sounds like an honorable goal, right? But at what cost? How about the banning of all cars from both outer London and inner London? That sounds pretty radical, but according to a study by a team of experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Transport Studies Unit of the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, that is what may be required. In fact, it would exceed the goal, reducing London's emissions by 72 percent by 2030. Using the current action plans, London is on track to reduce their land transportation emissions by somewhere between 10 percent and 23 percent, well short of their goals.

Much of the reason that London's emissions are too high to begin with is that very few people walk, ride their bicycle or take public transportation. In fact, more than 70 percent of all trips via the automobile are shorter than 8 kilometers. Of course, Brits are not shy about sharing their dislike of walking. But, as another post will show, the health benefits would be astounding!

Sure, the likelihood of a ban on all cars in London seems pretty small. More likely, the goals will simply not be met. But, perhaps just the threat alone of an all-out ban on all cars in London would be enough to kick-start people into making changes in their daily routines.

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[Source: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine via Scientific Blogging]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is probably going to happen in an implicit way anyway sooner or later.

      Currently the congestion charge is £8 a day - i.e. it costs £8 to drive in central London. There is some talk that it is going to go up to £25 a day soon. I have no doubt that it will go up even further after that. Electric and
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes, where public transit is already the norm in big cities, banning cars would be perfectly feasible. It's the next logical step. It couldn't be a total ban, though; there would have to be certain exceptions.

      I've often mused about banning cars from parts of Hong Kong, a city where public transit is fantastically convenient and much-used. It'll never happen, however, as cars are cherished status symbols and the government lacks initiative.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree with you Tim. London could be a worldwide model for cities like New York, Tokyo, Beijing and Stockholm. A model for cities how to get carbon dioxide neutral in the most efficient way.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Perfection is an unattainable goal, but a goal we must all strive to achieve.

      London could be an "electric only" zone. PHEVs, BEVs, Segways, electric bicycles, electric cabs, the Tube and feet would be the primary modes of transport and London would be the cleanest, safest and most peaceful city on earth in a matter of a few short years. (except for the terrorist bombings)

      Can you imagine the global impact on electric vehicle design & manufacture if one or more the world's most important economic hubs embraced electric only drive? It could be as game-changing as the Chevy Volt!

      The only problem is it would take political courage which is in short supply in these days of pandering “career” politicians.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it will be very possible to reach the target. Brits just have to buy EV:s or PHEV:s.

      Piece of cake.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Banning cars from central London; Tube zones 1 & 2, would be perfectly feasible tomorrow. In this zone journeys by public transport are already the norm, and you are never far from a tube/rail station of a frequent bus service. You would still need a lot of delivery vans, buses and taxis, so total traffic flows would still be significant. From Zones 3 outwards public transport is much more patchy, and you really do need a car if you are not going in a straight line towards or away from the city centre.