Emergency measures for walkers and cyclists under social distancing

These measures will allow for safer walking and cycling during lockdown. Pic: Mayor’s Press Office

Residents in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lewisham and Croydon will see emergency measures enforced to their roads to improve social distancing whilst doing their daily exercise and getting essential supplies.

The individual plans for each borough will build on Sadiq Khan’s Streetspace Plan which aims to transform London’s roads by repurposing general traffic lanes, parking spaces for temporary cycle lanes and wider footways so people can follow social distancing measures.

Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, Gareth Powell, said: “As people are choosing to walk and cycle, both for their essential journeys and for exercise during the lockdown it is vital that they have the space to do so safely and are able to continue socially distancing. 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.”

Below are the current improvements to road safety and social distancing measures for the EastLondonLines boroughs.

A group of women called the Tactical Urbanistas have widened the pavement outside a busy high street supermarket, using painted circles and makeshift tyre barriers. Pic: Tactical Urbanistas

Footpaths will be widened with barriers, and parking will be suspended at seven sites where residents are finding it most difficult to socially distance. 

The seven sites where the council is widening pavements are:

  • Sainsbury’s Local, Mare Street (south of Ash Grove)
  • Chatsworth Road (various shops)
  • Sainsbury’s Local, 27-33 Blackstock Rd, N4 2JF 
  • Iceland, Mare St, near Well Street
  • Sainsbury’s Local, Lower Clapton Road
  • Tesco Express, East Road
  • Co-Op, New North Road

At these sites, the council will ensure that deliveries to food retailers can continue as normal.

The council is also temporarily restricting parking on Broadway Market and making it accessible to pedestrians only.

The group are taking social distancing into their own hands. Pic: Tactical Urbanistas

A section of Old Ford Road near Victoria Park has been temporarily closed to motor vehicles.

Pedestrians and cyclists can cross Skew Bridge as normal and motorists can use Grove Road, Roman Road and St Stephen’s Road as alternative routes.

Temporary pavement widening on Deptford High Street. Pic: Cllr Sophie McGeevor

Lewisham Council is currently widening pavements in Deptford High Street and Luxmore Street. The council is also considering doing the same in areas of Sydenham, Forest Hill, Catford, Lee, Hither Green, Brockley and Blackheath. 

The council has reported that traffic and illegal parking along Deptford High Street are making it increasingly difficult for pedestrians to socially distance, resulting in some being forced to walk on the road. To widen the pavement, the council are being put up along Deptford High Street between Giffin Street and Deptford Broadway. 

Barriers will also be placed between Giffin Street and Deptford Station. From 18 May, Deptford High Street will be blocked to traffic at the junction with Deptford Broadway for planned gas pipe works.

Parking will be suspended on one side of Luxmore Street to allow for more pavement space near Luxmore Gardens. Cars will be stopped from parking on top of the pavement on the other side.

The Tactical Urbanistas’ artwork to help widen pavements. Pic: Tactical Urbanistas

The current road closures to make cycling and walking safer are:

  • Holmesdale Road at the junction with Park Road (stadium side)
  • Dalmally Road at the junction with Blackhorse Lane
  • Elmers Road at the junction with Blackhorse Lane
  • Lancaster Road at the junction with Southern Avenue
  • Woodvale Avenue at the junction with Avenue Road

Residents living on quiet roads are able to put forward their road to be considered for the Exercise Street pilot as part of a trial second scheme, where their road can be closed for an hour or two each day to allow for a safe exercising space.

Parking is set to be suspended outside some shops in Croydon’s district centres to enable barriers to be installed to increase pavement space for shoppers and pedestrians.

The first barriers are being installed outside Tesco Express on Portland Road, South Norwood, and between numbers 61 and 87 and 243 and 257 on London Road, Broad Green.

These measures will last for 21 days. Road markings will be used to create a turning circle at the bottom of affected roads, enabling access to be maintained for residents for the purpose of essential journeys.

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