Brixton’s Railton Road and the surrounding area are to become a “low traffic neighbourhood” as part of Lambeth council’s measures to deal with the health emergency.
A council report says that the need to impose physical distancing measures has “brought into sharp focus some of the inadequacies inherent in the way space is allocated on the public highway and in public spaces generally”.
The document makes it clear that changes may be temporary, but the council’s intention is not to return to the status quo after the coronavirus emergency.
It says the council’s existing transport strategy “seeks to radically change the status quo and is a key element of the council’s climate change response.
“Therefore, when planning our response to the current situation a key consideration should be avoiding a return to pre-existing motor traffic levels.
“This will require traffic restraint, together with measures to further promote and enable sustainable forms of travel.”
Other measures included in the plans, which will cost £78,500, include widening footways in the busiest parts of the borough by extending pavements into the road.
This will take place in the first phase of “priority interventions” under the scheme beginning immdiately.
These will be around park entrances and under railway bridges on
Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill
Coldharbour Lane in Loughborough Junction
Norwood Road in Tulse Hill.
Phase 2 will see footway widening in areas including Wandsworth Road, Crystal Palace and Waterloo. The Oval Triangle/Fentiman Road area will become a low traffic neighbourhood.
Phase 3 will see the Railton Road low traffic neighbourhood implemented and more footway widening, including Station Rise in Tulse Hill.
Cllr Claire Holland, council deputy leader (sustainable transport, environment and clean air), said: “Coronavirus has dramatically changed the way people are using streets in Lambeth and beyond.
“Many people are walking and cycling to make essential journeys or exercise, following the Mayor of London’s call to ensure public transport is used only by people who need it.
“However, at the same time, we are facing a road danger with the Metropolitan police recording speeds of up to 85mph in roads where people are having to walk or exercise to socially distance to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
‘That’s why we are taking urgent action to protect our residents.
“We will be moving quickly and flexibly and, while there are clear challenges around funding and capacity due to the virus, we will be taking action where we know there are particular issues.”
The council said that many of the borough’s main roads are controlled by Transport for London, and that it would be working closely with TfL and the Greater London Authority to promote measures that will benefit people in Lambeth and the rest of London.
This includes looking to widen some pavements on TfL-controlled roads, extending bus lane hours, especially where there are lots of people cycling, and temporary cycle lanes on key routes.