TfL has today published research that shows improvements to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle in London's town centres and high streets lead to an increase in retail rental values, more retail space being filled and a 93% increase in people walking in the streets.
The research has also found that people walking, cycling and using public transport spend the most in their local shops, spending 40% more each month than car drivers.
In one major study published today, locations including Bromley North Village, Hornchurch Town Centre, Clapham, Woolwich Town Centre and Walworth Road were studied to assess the impact of improvements, such as widened footpaths, increased space for outdoor seating, new public squares and pedestrian crossings.
The study, commissioned by TfL and conducted by Matthew Carmona from University College London's Bartlett School of Planning, found that compared to unimproved areas:
- Footfall increased - the number of people standing, waiting and sitting nearly doubled and people walking in the streets increased by 93%
- People spent more time in the street, with a 216% increase in activity such as going into a shop, stopping at a café or sitting on a bench
- Retail rental values increased by 7.5%, suggesting that local businesses are thriving in the area
- More retail space was filled by businesses, as there was a 17% decline in retail vacancy
- Office rental values increased by 4%, showing that improving streets is good for many types of business