The Streetspace initiative is designed to promote cycling and walking over driving.
The Tube may be the usual lifeline of the London commuter, but with the difficulty of social distancing and the need to lower passenger numbers in a time of pandemic, many of us will soon be looking for alternative means of travel. TfL have already released their guidelines for the immediate future of London travel, and one of the major ways they plan to get us moving around town in a post-lockdown world is by using the power of our own two feet.
Dubbed the ‘London Streetspace’ plan, the aim is to encourage a ten-fold increase in cycling and five-fold increase in walking, compared to pre-pandemic levels. It began this week, with the construction of a new temporary cycle lane on Park Lane, just one section of a strategic cycle network which TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan are hoping to expand upon in the coming days and weeks, making use of existing routes where possible, and adding new ones where not.
Work has begun on the first temporary cycle lane on Park Lane✨
Please walk or cycle – and use public transport as a last resort pic.twitter.com/1oESPVd82d
— Transport for London 🚶🚴 (@TfL) May 14, 2020
The Streetspace plan will also work in local town centres, with the major effort here being to widen pavements so that people can shop and queue at a safe distance. Camden High Street and Stoke Newington High Street are amongst several that have been widened already, with more likely to follow where possible.
The measures are only temporary for now, but with climate change and London’s filthy air looming in the background as other threats currently obscured by the coronavirus outbreak (isn’t life just grand?), the hope is that more permanent efforts will follow. On your bike, folks!
Also published on Medium.