The interview was filmed during Autonomy Paris 2022, a trade show dedicated to sustainable mobility.
Seb Dance, the Deputy Mayor for Transport for Greater London Authority.
My name is Seb Dance. I’m the Deputy Mayor for Transport for Greater London Authority.
Clearly we have some key challenges now going forward. We need to drive ridership of public transport back up and we need to ensure that the disparity between inner London, where many more journeys are undertaken by public or active transport, it does not drift apart from outer London, where there is much more reliance on car journeys.
I think people felt that the car was perhaps, when they had the luxury of having a car of course, was perhaps a less risky place to be during the pandemic. And obviously that has had a lasting impact because combined with changes to working patterns as well, with many more people working from home at various stages throughout the week, has meant that the traditional pattern of commuting to work has not really come back.
Whatever new working patterns emerge, and I think probably those patterns will become permanent, clearly people will still want to travel, they will still want to see their friends and family, and that is where we need to ensure that we don’t get a car-led recovery, but that they make those journeys by public and active transport.
All of these different decisions that people make are based on a whole variety of factors. And what we want to do, is to make the plus factors for public and active transport outweigh the plus factors of taking a car.
One of the big barriers to transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles has been access to infrastructure. And London is installing high-speed charging infrastructure as fast as we can frankly, because we want people to be able to have access to that infrastructure and make that shift.
But it’s only part of the story.
If everybody shifted from a combustion vehicle to an electric vehicle, we would still have congestion, we would still have delays, and of course, we’d still have health problems associated with the particulate matter from tyre and brake wear.
So electric vehicles are not the panacea, but they are part of the solution. They will definitely improve air quality in cities.
Most of the time I cycle.
And I’m very lucky that I live in a part of London now that has benefited from some of the new cycle lanes that we have implemented.
It’s very much safer now. I don’t mix with the traffic. I have my own traffic lights to guide me through, and I can get pretty much all of the locations.
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