Published: 19th MAY 2020

London sees surge in emergency walking and cycling infrastructure

Transport for London and councils across the capital are rapidly prioritising walking and cycling to help Londoners get around safely as the lockdown eases. Our online map shows the changes councils and TfL are making to our streets as they seize the opportunity to make it easier to walk and cycle whilst physical distancing. And we want to hear what people living and working in the city think about these changes.

More space in London given to walking and cycling

London is transforming into a city where more road space is given to walking and cycling at internationally renowned locations.

Places like Park Lane as well as the smaller town centres.

So we’re asking Londoners to share their views on temporary cycle lanes, widened pavements and other measures that have been implemented in their local area to allow for physical distancing, through our new online map.

Tell us in four clicks what you think

All you have to do is search your postcode and click on the markers showing the actions councils have taken.

Next step is to complete a brief online form with views on the changes to local streets.

As soon as we have sufficient feedback, we’ll send it to the relevant local authority so they can assess the effectiveness of how councils have created additional space for safe walking and cycling during the COVID-19 lockdown.

More and more councils are making space to move

In recent weeks, councils across London including Lambeth, Croydon, Hammersmith and Fulham, Camden and Hackney, have rolled out measures to increase space for walking and cycling. So far, changes made are:  

  • TfL has created as temporary protected cycleway on Park Lane
  • Widening of pedestrian footway (by extending it into the road)
  • Installation of road filters (plant containers, bollards) to prevent through motor traffic.

Transport for London has announced fast-track new cycle routes and wider pavements across the capital.

Strengthening London's resilience post-lockdown

Giulio Ferrini, Sustrans London Head of Built Environment said:

“It’s great to see boroughs across London start to make their streets more walking and cycling-friendly.

"Local authorities are critical in reshaping the city’s streets and strengthening London’s resilience as we begin to emerge from lockdown.

"Those in local government who have the power to make positive change happen must ensure streets feel safe to walk and cycle along.

"Now is the time for boroughs to take positive action and transform their streets so when schools, offices and shops start to open, active travel will be the solution to Londoners’ transport needs".

New walking and cycling infrastructure

Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning, said:

“There are significant challenges in enabling those who cannot work from home to return while maintaining social distancing.

"It’s clear that supporting an increase in active travel will be vital in London’s safe and sustainable recovery.

“That’s why we have undertaken a bold programme to introduce new walking and cycling infrastructure for Londoners.

"Through our Streetspace programme, we’ve created new and improved cycle lanes on some of our busiest streets – including Park Lane – and added around 5,000 sq m of extra space on footpaths during the past week alone.

"These changes are transforming parts of central London into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city.

“We welcome Sustrans’ new online tool, which will enable the public to help shape the changes that are making our neighbourhoods safer and more sustainable.

"London’s gradual emergence from lockdown will be an enormous travel demand challenge that we will all need to overcome together.”

We need more space to move safely

Suzanne Colangelo-Lillis, a teacher living in Barking and Dagenham said:

“At the moment I can’t cycle to the school that I work at when it reopens.

"It would only be a 10-15 minute bike ride, but I just don’t feel safe getting there.

"There are busy roads and the bike lanes are perpetually blocked by cars.

"We need local authorities to make changes urgently, so those who need to travel have space to move safely as we emerge from lockdown.

"It’s great that Sustrans has provided a way to map all these street changes as they happen”.


Take a look at our Space to move map and tell us what you think about the changes in your area.

Find out more about Space to move and what's happening across the rest of the UK.

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