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Measures to support walking and cycling during COVID-19

We have introduced a number of temporary traffic measures across the borough to support pedestrians and cyclists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know that more residents chose to walk or cycle around the borough during lockdown because traffic levels were much lower. Air quality also dramatically improved – by up to 33% in some parts of Lewisham.

However, as restrictions were eased, traffic started to increase again, particularly in response to fears about public transport. This put pedestrians and cyclists at risk. Also, many of our pavements are not wide enough for two people to pass one another while keeping two metres apart. This means pedestrians often have to step into the road to maintain social distancing.

The Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) recognised the need to support walking and cycling in response to COVID-19. They asked local authorities to act quickly to introduce walking and cycling schemes and to create safe space for social distancing.

Our longer-term transport strategy and commitment to climate action also means that we support a move away from private car use towards more sustainable travel, such as walking, cycling and public transport.

We know that not every journey can be made without a car, but we want to encourage all those who can to walk or cycle where possible – this will free up space on public transport and roads for those who can’t walk or cycle.

Our traffic measures

The temporary traffic measures we have put in place include:

  • creating more space for pedestrians at busy points across the borough, such as local shops or park entrances
  • introducing a series of modal filters to reduce traffic on the busiest cut-throughs in the borough
  • investigating all main roads to identify where additional space for pedestrians and cyclists is required
  • expanding the school streets programme to help parents and pupils socially distance at drop-off and pick-up times.

Lewisham blue badge holders can apply for a vehicle exemption to drive through our Low Traffic Neighbourhoods road closures.

Find out more about, and comment on, these temporary measures on our Commonplace site.

Listening to your feedback

We know that some of the temporary traffic measures have caused problems which need to be addressed. We are listening to feedback and have been working urgently to plan changes which we hope will see things improve.

Find out more about the changes we will be making to the Lewisham and Lee Green Low Traffic Neighbourhood.

A public information session led by the Mayor and Chief Executive was held on 22 October 2020. Listen to a recording of the public information session.

Temporary changes to the A21

As part of the Mayor of London and TfL’s Streetspace programme, Transport for London (TfL) are making temporary changes to the A21 between Catford and Lewisham. These changes, which will support pedestrians, cyclists and bus users, include:

  • extending existing bus and cycle lanes to 24/7 operation
  • introducing a new 20mph speed limit to reduce the risk of collisions
  • creating new sections of protected cycle space.

You can comment on these changes by emailing streetspacelondon@tfl.gov.uk.