The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and TfL have today unveiled their ‘London Streetspace’ programme which will rapidly transform London’s streets to accommodate a possible ten-fold increase in cycling and five-fold increase in 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 in a major new strategic shift.
Responding to the Mayor’s new Streetspace plan to expand pedestrian and cycle routes in London, Siobhan Benita said:
“I’m pleased that the Mayor has listened to our call for new pedestrian and cycle routes in London, but increasing active travel alone will not be enough to prevent the transport network becoming overwhelmed. The Mayor and TfL must think creatively and be bold to overcome the challenge of people getting back to work.
“New express radial and orbital bus routes can reduce pressure on existing underground routes and enable better queue management above ground. Early Bird Fares can encourage pre-peak travel, whilst reinstating the ULEZ and Congestion Charge, with exemptions for key workers, will help avoid the surge in car use that other cities have seen.
“And in the long run, TfL needs to reduce its financial dependency on public transport users and consider green and radical measures like smart road pricing. I urge the Mayor to look into how such a scheme could work in the capital.”