Transport for London have launched the ‘London Streetspace’ programme and issued the following statement:
This programme will rapidly transform London’s streets to accommodate significant increases in cycling and walking when lockdown restrictions are eased. With London’s public transport capacity potentially running at a fifth of pre-crisis levels, millions of journeys a day will need to be made by other means. If people switch only a fraction of these journeys to cars, London risks grinding to a halt, air quality will worsen, and road danger will increase.
To prevent this happening, TfL will rapidly repurpose London’s streets to serve this unprecedented demand for walking and cycling. They are working with all London boroughs and the City to focus on three key areas:
Ø The rapid construction of a strategic cycling network, using temporary materials, including new routes aimed at reducing crowding on Underground and train lines, and on busy bus corridors
Ø A complete transformation of local town centres to enable local journeys to be safely walked and cycled where possible. Wider footways on high streets will facilitate a local economic recovery, with people having space to queue for shops as well as enough space for others to safely walk past while socially distancing
Ø Reducing traffic on residential streets, creating low-traffic neighbourhoods right across London to enable more people to walk and cycle as part of their daily routine, as has happened during lockdown
TfL have already begun making improvements to boost social distancing using temporary infrastructure. Pavements have already been doubled in size at Camden High Street and Stoke Newington High Street and widened at six further locations, with more to follow in the coming weeks. Many local authority partners are also already making changes on their road network, and TfL ask everyone to consider what they can do to ensure we maintain social distancing and aid London’s recovery.
The measures announced today are just the beginning, and more information is set out in the Mayor of London’s statement