Newham unveils plans for active travel to help borough’s recovery from Covid-19
PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:31 05 June 2020
Plans to help people walk and cycle rather than using public transport or cars have been unveiled by the council.
Schemes to encourage active travel to help the borough recover from the Covid-19 crisis are due to go before Newham Council’s cabinet chiefs on June 11.
The aims are to create enough space on pavements for people to socially distance safely; get people to walk or cycle as an alternative to taking public transport, clean up the air and improve people’s health, both linked to Covid-19 deaths in Newham.
The Department for Transport has made £25million available with £100,000 given to local authorities and a share of the remaining £20m to be divided up based on bids.
TfL has also made £45m available through a Covid-19 pot aimed at transforming the capital’s streets for cyclists and pedestrians. Newham plans to bid for cash from each pot.
Under the proposals, pavements are to be cleared of clutter along sections of Green Street, High Street North, Woodgrange Road, Woolwich Manor Way, Barking Road and Stratford Shopping Centre by July 20.
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Parts of Maryland, Vicarage Lane, High Street South, Freemasons Road and Pier Road, among others, are to get the same treatment by October 23.
Measures imposed under the Healthy School Streets scheme will be introduced on routes serving schools including Sheringham, Park, Hartley, Brampton, Kaizen, Lister and Kay Rowe Nursery by a target date of the end of June.
Signs and pavement markings warning of the need to observe social distancing are already in place in 24 locations across Newham.
A joint low traffic Liveable Neighbourhood scheme between Newham and Waltham Forest, straddling the north of Forest Gate and Leytonstone, would be “challenging” in four weeks because of dates and funding, but seven to eight weeks “is possible”, the council report notes.
Further low traffic schemes could be on the cards for parts of Stratford, Forest Gate and Custom House if Cabinet chiefs approve the plans.
Public transport capacity at peak times could drop by as much as 60 per cent post-lockdown, the report states.
A total of 52pc of households in Newham do not have access to cars which has prompted the council to help people walk or get on bikes.
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