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Wandsworth sets out social distancing plan

Coronavirus: Wider pavements, cycle paths, School Streets and 20mph speed limits will play key roles

Mark Moran
19 May 2020


Wandsworth Council has set out measures designed to improve safety and support social distancing on roads and pavements.

The inner London council’s projects include the potential closure of some roads, widening of pavements and introduction of one-way walking systems, improvements to cycling routes and fast tracking School Streets projects.

Other measures that will be explored, developed and delivered over the next few weeks and months could include:

  • Using barriers to widen footways and increase space for pedestrians, particularly outside shops and transport hubs; at bus stops where people queue; and to widen pedestrian refuges and crossings (both formal and informal) so that people can use them safely while maintaining the 2-metre rule.
  • Accelerating the next stages of detailed design work on previously approved schemes including comprehensive travel plans for Garratt Lane, Queenstown Road and Thessaly Road.
  • Providing additional cycle parking facilities at key locations – like tube and rail stations and in high streets – to accommodate an increase in cycling
  • Stepping up ongoing lobbying efforts to persuade Transport for London (TfL) to deliver similar measures on key sections of its Red Route network such as Tooting High Street, Upper Tooting Road and Balham High Road.
  • Installing ‘pop-up’ cycle lane facilities and accelerating the delivery of contra-flow cycle lanes.
  • Exploring options for the potential closure of some streets to vehicular traffic. Subject to the return of primary schools next month, bringing forward five School Streets’ projects previously consulted on as soon as is practicable.
  • Further roll out of 20mph speed limits on the borough’s B roads and pressing TfL to lower speed limits on its strategic Red Route network of trunk roads (Wandsworth was one of the first councils in London to introduce a borough wide 20mph zone in 2017, covering virtually every residential road.)
  • Reviewing the operating hours of bus lanes across the borough and extending them to a 24/7 basis where possible to provide more space for people who are cycling on main roads to access jobs and services or for their daily exercise.
  • The establishment of a Rapid Response Team to respond to new ideas and suggestions on improving local travel arrangements.

Transport spokesman Cllr Paul Ellis said: “We are exploring a whole range of measures to improve the different ways of travelling and in particular ensure that people can walk and cycle safely and more easily. We are fully committed to doing what we can in an imaginative and effective way to encourage people to adopt new forms of travel and supporting them to do so in the safest possible way.

"It’s action like this which will help us meet the far-reaching environmental targets we set last year to dramatically lower our carbon emissions to make us inner London’s greenest borough. We would also like to see a 20mph speed limit introduced without delay by TfL on all the borough’s major red route trunk roads like the Wandsworth one-way system, Balham High Road, West Hill, Tooting High Street, Trinity Road and Battersea Park Road. It is on these busiest roads that lower speed limits are crucial if we are to encourage people to switch travel modes.”

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Buckinghamshire Council
Aylesbury, England
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Buckinghamshire Council
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