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Car clubs and digital technology could clean up London’s air, says think tank

By / 3 years ago / Latest News / No Comments

Harnessing the best of digital and char sharing technology could help with London’s air pollution issues but only if Mayor Sadiq Khan seizes opportunities.

smog - credit London Assembly

Air pollution and congestion are serious problems in London. Image credit: London Assembly.

Policy think tank IPPR argues that London transport is at a tipping point where the transport network is going to get increasingly gridlocked and says Mr Khan needs to seize the opportunity to utilise new technology.

This includes deploying car clubs as a key part of the Mayor’s vision for London’s transport system and ensuring that TfL and boroughs work with operators to develop borough-by-borough agreements to enable car club development.

The report – which is supported by BMW, DriveNow, and Zipcar – also calls for the development of an explicit framework for new travel markets, in collaboration with operators of new transport services such as flexible car clubs and demand-responsive taxi services, alongside a chief digital officer for London who anticipates the potential impacts of digital technologies and ensures the London government takes action on these to modernise the city’s transport system.

Laurie Laybourn-Langton, IPPR research fellow, said: “London is on the cusp of major changes to the way people move around the city. Shared transport and digital technology have the potential to drive positive transport outcomes and overcome London’s transport difficulties, thereby improving the city’s spaces and Londoner’s lives.

“Public intervention is required to realise these ends, and a window of opportunity currently exists in which action can and must be taken by London’s government. When this window closes, it will significantly increase the chances of a negative path dependence upon which technology will worsen existing problems, such as air pollution and congestion, and create new ones.”

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Katie Beck

Katie joined Fleet World in 2012 as an editorial intern, following the completion of an English and American Literature BA from the University of East Anglia. She accepted a full-time position as an editorial assistant at the end of the internship period, and was promoted to the role of features editor in 2014. She works across the magazine and website portfolio, and administrates the social media channels.