Before breakfast on Sunday 1st November we learnt that the new funding deal for Transport for London (TfL) did not include cuts or additional restrictions on older Londoners’ travel concessions (primarily the Older Persons’ Freedom Pass and the 60+ Oyster card). The previous 48-hours had been a time of anxious waiting.
Did you know that London has the worst ‘pensioner poverty’ rate in the country and that poverty among older Londoners is rising?
To help keep you up-to-date with our campaigning work, we’re very excited to be announcing a new bi-monthly campaigns newsletter – “Action Age Friendly”. Here’s all you need to know about how to sign up!
“Each year, almost 4,000 people are killed or seriously injured on London’s streets, taking a devastating toll on the people involved, their families and communities across the capital. More worryingly still, people from more deprived areas, some ethnic minorities, disabled people, children and older people are disproportionately affected by road danger.”
One year ago, the Mayor, TfL and Metropolitan Police launched the Vision Zero Action Plan, a bold strategy to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from London’s roads. In this week’s blog we take a look at the action plan and see what’s next for Vision Zero.
“The State of London Debate began with a brief speech from Sadiq Khan, outlining his tenure to date, and discussing his plans for the future. The Mayor emphasised his aim to make London a fairer city, whilst also acknowledging the difficulties the capital has faced in recent years – namely the recent rise in knife crime, the terror attacks of 2017, and the challenges posed by austerity and Brexit. The Mayor stated his desire to do more to improve the environment, to further tackle discrimination, and to do all he can to prevent a no-deal Brexit.”
Last night, Age UK London attended the State of London Debate – a yearly opportunity for organisations and members of the public to put questions to the Mayor of London. Find out what the Mayor had to say about a number of topics and read our questions to him!
“Knowing where to start is a daunting prospect but thanks to last June’s announcement that the Mayor had signed London up to the World Health Organisation’s Age Friendly Community we have a strong platform to build on. Age UK London first called for London to sign up as an Age-friendly City ahead of the 2016 Mayoral Elections and whilst we now have a commitment from the Mayor it will be actions on the ground that decide whether we earn the right to call London an Age-friendly City.”
We’ve launched a brand new campaign to make London an Age-friendly City! Our new Campaigns Officer John McGeachy explains how we can achieve this.
“Despite its disproportionate size and subsidies from central government, London’s transport infrastructure and built environment can often feel hostile for older people, especially those experiencing disability or chronic illness. Older people need better information on the options and help available to them, transport staff need better training on how to accommodate an assist older people, and the wider public must better understand and accommodate the needs of older people.”
An accessible and affordable transport network is a vital feature of an Age-friendly City. Philip Corran, a researcher at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, discusses the difficulties older Londoners face with everyday travel focusing on how they overcome the obstacles they face and the impact these challenges have on their health and wellbeing.
“So what does this look like in practice? There isn’t one template for what makes a healthy street but common approaches now being taken across London include reducing traffic speeds, installing pedestrian crossings, widening pavements and, increasingly, closing residential streets to motor traffic. On larger roads and at dangerous junctions it also means segregating cyclists from traffic with protected lanes and facilities.”
Will Norman, Walking & Cycling Commissioner at the Greater London Authority explains how the Healthy Streets initiative will help make London safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike.
“ULEZ is the Mayor’s reaction to London’s worsening air quality, which can have especially damaging effects on the most vulnerable citizens, including older Londoners. Around half of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) – these contribute to illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – and particulate matter (PM) come from transport. Such pollutants can worsen chronic illnesses and shorten life expectancy as well as damaging lung development in children.”
With all eyes focused on March 29th (or should that now be April 12th?!) it’s perhaps easy to forget another important deadline on the horizon – the arrival of ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone). Here’s a quick guide to the new regulations.
“Exposure to the cold can have a devastating impact on older people, who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of low temperatures. As people get older it takes longer to warm up which can be bad for health. Breathing in cold air lowers the body temperature, and raises the risk of chest infections, heart attacks and strokes.”
It’s imperative to take steps to protect your self from the cold weather, luckily there are a number of steps you can take to deal with the chill.