Transport for London is to begin reviewing temporary changes to street designs it introduced in response to the pandemic with a view to deciding which will be dispensed with and which will be made permanent.
An email to Londoners who’ve signed up for consultations about the schemes, which began being introduced from May 2002 as part of the Mayor’s Streetspace programme, says TfL is now “considering what our next steps should be with each temporary scheme” as the 18-month Temporary Traffic Orders under which they were rapidly introduced approach their expiry dates.
The email, sent out by TfL’s strategic consultations department, says the review’s starting point will be “to review the various schemes we introduced last year to help pedestrians to safely social distance” including by examining “traffic flow changes, bus journey times, cycling data and the feedback we’ve received from the public and other stakeholders since last May”.
Stating that the changes “played their part in helping London’s communities cope with the effects of the coronavirus lockdowns,” the email says that as the city moves into recovery “it’s likely that some schemes may well have served their purpose and will no longer be required” whereas in other cases, “it may be beneficial to retain the temporary schemes”, perhaps with some changes “to help make them fit for the future”.
The email also asserts that in recovery “it will be more important than ever to support and encourage everyone who can to be more active,” and says TfL remains “focussed on delivering the key aim of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, to achieve a minimum 80 per cent of trips to be made on foot, by bike or by public transport by 2041.”
It links to a list of nearly 50 TfL schemes in boroughs ranging from Bromley, to Tower Hamlets to Kensington & Chelsea, many of them involving widening pavement space and providing special facilities for cycling. Feedback will be accepted until the end of the year, and the email says that in reviewing each temporary scheme, “we’ll bear in mind the latest guidance from the Department for Transport” which says it recognises that reviewing the schemes “may take time”.
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