This is our open letter to Barnet Council urging action to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians during the Coronavirus emergency.
To : Ilias Ioannaou (Cycling Officer)
Cc: Geoff Mee (Executive Director, Environment), Cllr. Dean Cohen (Chair of Environment Committee), Cllr. Alan Schneiderman (Opposition Spokesperson on Environment)
During the coronavirus emergency, there has been a radical change in transport patterns within London and this situation is likely to continue for some time.
Around Barnet, more key workers are cycling to work whilst large numbers of residents are cycling and walking for exercise or shopping more locally. On the negative side, quieter roads have led to an upsurge in speeding.
In other Boroughs, such as Lewisham and Lambeth, plans are being formed to put in temporary emergency cycle lanes and widened pavements to make it safer to cycle and to ensure people have plenty of space to queue outside shops and get around safely (see attached photos).
They are also considering how transport patterns will change as the lockdown eases so that people can continue to get around safely.
This link details Lambeth’s policy: https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=6585
See also this guide on what local authorities can do during the current emergency.
What is Barnet planning? Has the Borough considered any similar measures? Are you planning to consult with residents and stakeholders, or work with the Mayor and TFL? How will you identify streets and areas for action?
Some specific ideas might include-
- Temporary low traffic neighbourhoods under Experimental Traffic Orders to reduce through traffic so that streets are safer for residents to walk and cycle.
- Create temporary cycle lanes on main corridors using cones and barriers. Roads like the A1000 from High Barnet to East Finchley, the A598 through Temple Fortune and Finchley, the A502 through Golders Green and Hendon and the A5 on the western edge of the borough are all wide roads with space to accommodate cycle lanes.
- Widening pavements in town centres with temporary suspension of street parking.
We look forward to hearing from you and supporting your plans,
What you can do:
Contact your local councillors to suggest places in your ward needing extra space for cycling & walking: https://e-activist.com/page/59487/action/1 [Please copy your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org]
TfL Streetspace for London page, including outline plans for emergency cycle routes and guidance for Boroughs.
This excellent article is quite long but well worth reading: How do you build a city for a pandemic.
Coronavirus in Scotland: Pop-up paths and cycle lanes to boost social distancing.
Milan announces ambitious scheme to reduce car use after lockdown.