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imageTransport for London's Streetspace Programme, announced on Wednesday, is intended to rapidly transform the capital’s streets to accommodate a possible ten-fold increase in cycling and five-fold increase in walking when lockdown restrictions are eased. Many boroughs have already started on their own similar schemes - Enfield's was announced on Tuesday. Measures of this kind have already been endorsed by the prime minister and business secretary.

A press release issued by the Mayor of London and TfL heralded fast-tracking of the construction of new cycle lanes and wider pavements to enable social distancing, temporary bike routes and more walking space in "landmark" locations, such as Park Lane and Euston Road.

In conjunction with the boroughs, TfL will focus on three key areas:

  • The rapid construction of a strategic cycling network, using temporary materials, including new routes aimed at reducing crowding on Underground and train lines, and on busy bus corridors.
  • A complete transformation of local town centres to enable local journeys to be safely walked and cycled where possible. Wider footways on high streets will facilitate a local economic recovery, with people having space to queue for shops as well as enough space for others to safely walk past while socially distancing.
  • Reducing traffic on residential streets, creating low-traffic neighbourhoods right across London to enable more people to walk and cycle as part of their daily routine, as has happened during lockdown.

The programme is designed to forestall a "calamitous return to toxic air, high carbon emissions and traffic-choked streets" once the lockdown is listed. Undoubtedly, fewer people will be happy to use public transport while social distancing, so the only way to prevent cars clogging up the streets is to free up space for safe walking and cycling.

Enfield's own Streetspace Plan

Enfield Council has been a little slower than some other boroughs in beginning to free up streetspace for walking and cycling, but a statement issued on Tuesday by the cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Guney Dogan, says that "Now more than ever we need to ensure that were creating safe space for people to both walk and cycle". He says that the council will focus on :

  • Increasing narrow footway widths, particularly in town centres, at transport hubs and schools.
  • Continuing to create key cycling links across the borough and beyond.
  • Helping to prevent high traffic volumes and speeds through residential areas.

enfield council logo

5 May 2020

Statement from Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability Cllr Dogan on Enfield Council preparing our borough for ease of lockdown

Over the last few weeks, Enfield Council has been responding to the Covid-19 crisis through our Enfield Stands Together campaign; supporting local businesses; and working to protect our most vulnerable residents, particularly those in Enfield care homes - calling on the government for adequate PPE and more testing. This effort continues and we are now looking to do even more to support people as they move around on essential joumeys and to prepare for the future easing of restrictions.

Encouraging more active forms of travel is an ongoing priority for the Council. Now more than ever we need to ensure that were creating safe space for people to both walk and cycle.

It is clear that Transport for London finances are under severe strain at this time. Despite this, it has been indicated to us that some funding maybe available and the Council will be working in partnership with the Mayor and TfL. Together, we will now focus on three key areas of activity:

  • Increasing narrow footway widths, particularly in town centres, at transport hubs and schools.
  • Continuing to create key cycling links across the borough and beyond.
  • Helping to prevent high traffic volumes and speeds through residential areas.

We will be exploring a range of opportunities but considering the circumstances, will look to implement things quickly, using temporary approaches where appropriate. We will make sure that residents have the opportunity to provide feedback on the measures we take.

We have also created a new interactive map of the Borough that local residents and business owners can use to help us identify areas where you think we should consider changes and raise issues that need to be tackled so we can continue to improve our transport network.

Enfield Council's long-term strategy is to create healthy streets, now and for the future. We intend to take action in the next few days with a footway widening scheme on Fore Street in Angel Edmonton. enabling more space for social distancing. Further work will quickly follow.

To find out more and get involved visit our newly launched Let's Talk web page: https://letstalk.enfield.gov.uk/covid-19-streetspace-plan.

Although no specific measures have yet been publicised, some more clues about Enfield's approach can be found on the council's Consultations Hub, where it is stated that the focus will be on

  • Temporary transport interventions to enable social distancing in town centres, on approaches to stations, outside schools etc.
  • Continuing to deliver a strategic active travel network to provide a safe alternative to both public and private transport use. The emphasis here will be interventions that can be delivered quickly which, in many cases, will mean the use of temporary or experimental measures.
  • Measures which mitigate possible increases in the use of private vehicles. This includes Low Traffic Neighbourhood type measures to protect neighbourhoods from additional traffic, particularly where needed to address problems with social distancing and / or road danger.

There will be less consultation that is normal:

"Owing to the urgency, some projects may be implemented without the normal level of public engagement. However, we will look to publish information about projects on this page of the engagement hub and ensure there is an opportunity to provide feedback on each of the measures we implement. Where possible we will look to notify local residents and businesses in the immediate area of any particular change."

Residents are being invited to use the Ideas Map on the consultation hub to make their own suggestions.

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