Do you know your school street from your low traffic neighbourhood? Your modal filter from you bus priority road? Find out about the measures the Council is proposing as a solution to enable distancing after lockdown. What do they do and why this is important?
Brent Council has published its recovery transport plan on 9 June, setting out a series of measures they are hoping to implement, to enable people to distance themselves as we restart from lockdown. We have published our response here.
These measures are mandatory for all local authorities to do, as explained here, and there is funding available for councils who show decisiveness and leadership. There will be a period of engagement as views are sought over how best to implement these necessary changes.
These measures are to enable walking and cycling as we have been told to avoid public transport. In Brent, with only half of the population owning a car, we heavily rely on the public transport network. Therefore, these proposed measures, if implemented will offer an alternative mode of transport, to suppress a surge of motor traffic which would be catastrophic for our health.
So what are those measures, central government mandated local authorities to implement swiftly and meaningfully? What do they do? How do they work?
In area where pavements are narrow and footfall is high, people need more space to pass each other at the recommended physical distance. In some areas, there may be obstructions to pedestrians due to a particular layout.
The Council has started on these measures by widening the space for pedestrians on the pavement. This was achieved with block barriers installed on the road, in effect, extending or doubling the size of the pavement so people can be safe when stepping on the road.
Ramps need to be installed with enough allowance to make it easy and comfortable for wheelchair users, mobility scooters and families with strollers, to go up and down the pavement without any inconvenience.
In some places, it may be necessary to suspend parking. Provision for disabled parking however will remain, and if absolutely necessary to be moved, it would need to somewhere else nearby which still offer convenient access.
Parking are not linked to level of customers and spending. On the contrary, people coming to shop on foot, cycling or by public transport spend on average 30% to 40% more than those coming in a private motor vehicle. Read the research by London Business Improvement Districts (source: Survey of London BIDS) to find out more.
Sylvia is the current Brent Cycling Campaign Coordinator. She is a Cricklewood resident and a cargobike mum of two.