The Potential of a Pedestrianised London
With ULEZ scheduled to expand to Greater London on August 29th, garnering panic for the 700,000 car-owners who do not have a ULEZ compliant vehicle, in addition to TfL fares rising by a staggering 5.9% – forms of public and personal transport are becoming increasingly unaffordable for many Brits.
Research by Swytch, leading bike engineers in the UK – has found that 15% of Brits plan on moving away from car ownership in the next five years. Highlighting that this shift has already begun, Swytch’s data also indicates that 15% of Brits already cycle or use electric modes of transportation to get to their job. In light of this, travel expert and CEO of Swytch Technology, Oliver Montague – unveils how investing in the pedestrianisation of London could result in high returns.
The pandemic underlined the revolutionary potential of pedestrianised districts in the capital. Soho Estates regarded the pedestrianisation of Soho in 2020 as the key factor in allowing 90% of the area’s hospitality businesses to recover. According to Livingstreet.org, pedestrianisation has the potential to enhance footfall and sales by 30%. This was seen stateside, when pedestrian upgrades at one intersection in NYC raised local store sales by 48%.
Additionally, pedestrianisation results in better air quality as transport was identified as producing 24% of Britain’s total emissions in 2020, according to GOV.uk. Therefore, the reduction of vehicles could help improve both health and environmental issues. Alongside a plethora of other health benefits associated with active travel, evidenced by proprietary research which found that 48% of Brits claimed their mental health dramatically improved since starting cycling or walking for a regular period of time.
According to TfL, the British Social Attitudes Survey on ‘Public Attitudes to Transport’ discovered that 61% of respondents thought cycling on roads was too dangerous, and 30% indicated they were likely to walk more post pandemic, strengthening the case for more funding towards infrastructure for pavements and cycle lanes.
Swytch Technology, also discovered through their proprietary research that 21% of Brits in the suburbs indicated that their commute had become too expensive to afford and that 22% of Brits were planning to stop using their car for short journeys, indicating a desire for a London that could accommodate cheaper active travel alternatives.
Oliver Montague CEO and co-founder of Swytch comments on the need for appropriate cycle and pedestrian friendly infrastructure: “Factors such as the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing strike action have fuelled a shift towards other forms of travelling that are more convenient and cost-efficient than public transport such as cycling. However, it’s vital that this increased appetite for active travel is matched by an infrastructure that allows everyone to do so safely.
“Despite initiatives to improve cycling infrastructure in the UK, with the government recently allocating a £200 million fund, more can be done to create safer cycling routes. It’s great to see Brits are urging government officials to make active travel safer and more accessible for everyone.”
The new way to cycle
The new Swytch Kit takes you further and faster by converting any regular bicycle into a state-of-the-art e-bike.
The conversion kit features a world-first pocket-sized battery (the “Power Pack”) which is similar in size to a large smartphone, weighs just 1.5lbs (700g), recharges in just one hour from your mains power socket, and provides 10 miles range. Increasing the range is as easy as clicking off one battery, and connecting another, or upgrading to the larger battery option available with 20 miles range, and weighing 2.4lbs (1.1kg).