London is well-known for being a commuter city. Nearly one million workers commute into London every day, spending at least two hours getting to and from the office. Tube stations are overflowing, and train carriages are packed to the brim as workers desperately try to get to work on time.
With the vast number of commuters and travel options available in the capital, it’s no surprise that London’s air pollution rating is far from clean. Fortunately, the UK government has invoked a few regulations and charges to encourage London’s workforce to opt for cleaner travel methods.
Across the UK, 3.7 million workers travel for two hours or longer every day. Men in finance and insurance are most likely to make these journeys. The number of women commuting for more than 2 hours a day has increased by 35 per cent since 2010, to a whopping 1.45 million female workers. Commuting is part of our culture, and unfortunately, it has a detrimental impact on the environment.
So, what are the most eco-friendly modes of transport?
Walking or cycling
The Mayor of London is encouraging commuters to walk or cycle to work. In fact, London is even incorporating a Healthy Streets Approach into its environmental decision making. There will be a new network of cycling routes designed to get you to work in the safest and most effective way possible. The Healthy Streets Approach focuses on improving road safety and the air quality in London’s public spaces.
By 2041, the government aims for 70% of Londoners to live within 400 metres of a cycle route. You can spend time outdoors exercising before the working day even begins, genius!
The government has already introduced low emission bus zones, aiming to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by a staggering 84%. Hybrid buses are quieter and cleaner than standard buses, helping to reduce emission by 30%. London also uses hydrogen-powered buses, which are a great sustainable alternative.
Most commuters spend their commute on trains. If you catch a train travelling to London St Pancras, consider walking or cycling for the rest of your commute to lower your carbon footprint. Besides, spending time in the fresh air before work is far better than getting hot and flustered in an overcrowded tube station.
When you are running late for a meeting, the last thing you want to do is add extra time to your journey by walking. Fortunately, new London taxies are zero-emission vehicles, and there are further plans to create zero-emission ranks for them. You can opt for a greener choice even when you are running late.
London has also created stricter emission standards for diesel vehicles and introduces the T Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zones. Electric cars will be further encouraged by rapid charging stations across the city as well.