When the coronavirus epidemic is over, will transport and traffic in London return to normal? Not if Cycling Commissioner Will Norman of Transport for London has his way.
In an article published by Bikebiz (see link below) he says that TfL is working on a radical solution – a Streetspace Plan. That might include converting general traffic lanes and parking spaces to cycle lanes and installing wider footpaths. Some roads may be restricted to buses and cycles only at certain times of day.
This is not just about providing more distancing space for pedestrians temporarily during the epidemic. It is clearly focussed on what happens after restrictions are lifted with the objective of making permanent changes to the allocation of road space.
In other words, it’s just another attack on the use of motor vehicles led by a cycling enthusiast. There is no justification for such measures and there is no public information available, nor any apparent public consultation proposed.
This is yet another damaging attack on the road network coming out of the Mayor of London’s office. Make sure you oppose it!
Bikebiz article: https://www.bikebiz.com/mayors-streetspace-plan-could-see-cycling-increased-tenfold-post-lockdown/
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We all know that travelling in London has become more difficult in the last few years. Rising traffic congestion due to reductions in road space and cycle superhighways, and overcrowded public transport, have been very damaging. Population increase, and more business activity, have not been supported fully by new transport infrastructure and there has been little long-term planning or funding to improve the transport network.
Now Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that travelling is now so difficult in London that the number of Londoners who spend all day at home has been rising. To quote (from LTT): “In particular, there has been a rise in non-travel, in other words, people staying at home all day and not making any trips”. It seems on any given day, around 20% of Londoners do not make any journeys nowadays.
It seems likely that there has been a reduction in travel for shopping purposes (hence the increase in van deliveries resulting from internet shopping). But there are more people probably working from home and using the internet and other communication media rather than going into a conventional workplace everyday. Also of course the increase in the elderly might explain the rise in non-travel, although many retired people move out of London.
New Cycling and Walking Commissioner
One other influence over future travel patterns may be a new “Cycling and Walking Commissioner” named Will Norman. Former Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan has suggested the change of name for the role might indicate that Mayor Khan might have more interest in walking than cycling, particularly as some previously approved cycling schemes do not seem to be progressing. He also suggested that the Mayor wishes to avoid confrontation with the motoring lobby. But that surely seems very unlikely bearing in mind the Mayor’s plans over air pollution.