Post-lockdown London streets preparing for cycling to increase tenfold

6 May 2020, 10:16

Cycling could increase 10-fold and walking five-fold post-lockdown, according to TfL
Cycling could increase 10-fold and walking five-fold post-lockdown, according to TfL. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Mayor of London has unveiled a plan to "rapidly transform London’s streets to accommodate a surge in walking and cycling when lockdown restrictions are eased."

Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London (TfL) have launched the ‘London Streetspace’ programme which will "transform" the capital's roads once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

The Mayor's Office said access to public transport will be "dramatically" reduced once the restrictions are lifted and there could be concerns around social-distancing.

The new plan aims to give space to new cycle lanes and wider pavements to enable those walking and riding bikes to stay two

A spokesperson said 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," TfL is set to "rapidly repurpose" the capital's streets to help with a surge in cycling and walking.

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The capacity of our public transport will be dramatically reduced post-coronavirus as a result of the huge challenges we face around social distancing.

"Everyone who can work from home must continue to do so for some time to come. The emergency measures included in our major strategic London Streetspace programme will help those who have to travel to work by fast-tracking the transformation of streets across our city. "

Transport for London has already started to make improvements to boost social distancing using temporary infrastructure.

Pavements have 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.

TfL has also worked with Hackney Council to close Broadway Market to through traffic and, with Royal Parks, to close through traffic at weekends to The Mall/Constitution Hill and all Royal Parks (except Regents Park).

The plans propose to creating new walking and cycling routes along major corridors, including temporary cycle lanes in Euston Road.

TfL is also looking at creating temporary cycle lanes on Park Lane. Upgrades will also be made to existing routes including creating sections of temporary segregation from Merton to Elephant and Castle, and Pimlico to Putney.

Space for cycling will be created between Catford town centre and Lewisham via the A21, and on the A23 between Oval and Streatham Hill.

Pavements will be widened in more than 20 locations allowing easier access to shops and services.

Gareth Powell, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “The London Streetspace programme – providing more space for walking and cycling - will support that. It will also play a crucial role as London approaches the challenge of maintaining social distancing as restrictions on movement are relaxed.”