A cycling campaign group is calling on the next leader of Hackney Council to commit to reducing climate emissions through their Climate Safe Streets Campaign.
“Labour, Conservatives, Greens and Liberal Democrats are standing in the local elections in May. We’re asking all candidates to commit to our campaign asks, and we’ll be holding a husting where attendees can ask them about their approach to reducing motor traffic,” said William Petty, one of the two Climate Safe Streets Champions for Hackney.
Local elections in the UK, including the London Borough of Hackney Mayoral election, will be held on May 5.
While the official candidate list will only be published on April 5, two-term Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville is running for re-election.
Other candidates in the Hackney Mayoral election include Green candidate Zoe Garbett and Conservative candidate Oliver Hall.
“London Cycling Campaign (LCC) believes that cutting transport emissions is absolutely crucial to meeting London and nationwide net zero targets – making our streets climate-safe couldn’t be more urgent,” Petty said.
The Climate Safe Streets Campaign was launched on March 24 and will continue until the local elections on May 5.
The campaign aims to get the council’s Mayoral candidates to pledge to play their part in tackling the climate crisis to meet the Mayor of London’s commitment to achieving a zero-carbon city by 2030.
For this to be possible, vehicles will have to be electrified and the distance travelled by cars must be cut by 27%. This will also mean that a huge expansion in walking, cycling and public transport is going to be needed.
“Climate Safe Streets is about taking a holistic look at how we reduce the contribution of London’s streets to climate change. That means prioritising sustainable transport like cycling and walking, and reducing dependence on motor vehicles wherever we can,” Petty said.
Petty said that there are five specific goals that the campaign was asking Hackney residents to get behind: safe cycling routes to every primary and secondary school in the borough, maximising the potential of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) for safe cycle travel, secure and affordable cycle parking for all Hackney residents, making cycling accessible in housing estates, and urgent action on the borough’s most dangerous junctions, including Stamford Hill, Mare St and Pembury Circus.
“We know that Hackney is a good place to cycle and that recent changes such as LTNs and school streets have made many streets much safer. But we also know that many people are put off cycling because they can’t get to where they need go without cycling on dangerous roads. We need Hackney to join up the dots, and rapidly fill in the gaps in our cycling network. It needs a borough-wide approach to make sure no one gets left behind,” Petty explained.
Petty said that his role as Climate Safe Streets Champion is to help campaigners in the borough get the message out about reducing transport emissions. He said: “Here in Hackney we’re lucky to have an active and experienced cycling campaign already, so the champions are working to support them, and provide a link to a network of campaigners in other boroughs.”
Petty said: “None of the party leaders in Hackney have committed to our campaign asks yet, but we haven’t given up – we’ll keep up the pressure to pledge support right up until election day.”
LCC is also urging residents to email Hackney Mayoral candidates to commit to take action on climate change.
“Anybody who wants to support our campaign can go to lcc.org.uk/hackney and generate an email that goes to all of the mayoral candidates. Candidates will be asked to pledge support for the campaign, and the more emails they get, the better – it only takes a couple of minutes, but it brings the goal of climate-safe streets closer for all of us.”