Havering Cyclists call for council to make safe cycling spaces for key workers

Havering Cyclists is calling for Havering Council to make temporary changes to Havering’s roads to make safe space for key workers cycling in the borough.

Writing to all council members earlier this week, Havering Cyclists activist Terry Hughes said:

“Over the weeks that the Covid-19 lockdown has been in place, you will have seen the growth in the numbers of people walking and cycling in our borough both for exercise and to go about their business while maintaining social distancing.

Many key workers are now cycling to work. Many local residents have taken up cycling to the shops but without some intervention, this behaviour is unlikely to continue when motor traffic levels return to normal (or as we fear, becomes worse).

We are expecting the lockdown to be eased in the near future and when that happens, people will be returning to work but as we know, the numbers of people using our public transport system will have to be restricted. If nothing changes, then there will be a massive increase in motor traffic resulting in Havering becoming gridlocked and polluted.

As an example, in the table below, we see what happened to travel modes when the lockdown was eased in Wuhan.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EWDsCuSWAAEIxYM?format=jpg&name=medium

Source: Ipsos |Impact of Coronavirus to New Car Purchase in China

We are all keenly aware that in normal times, Havering’s roads are already congested despite being very well served by public transport. Imagine how things would play out when this reliance on public transport switches to private cars.

Hence we are writing to urge you, as leaders of Havering Council, to make simple, temporary changes to our streets to control this expected surge in motor traffic and positively encourage people to travel sustainably and safely whilst maintaining social distancing.”

Temporary changes could include pop-up cycle lanes and vehicle speed restrictions.

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