Keep our streets safe and healthy after lockdown Wandsworth community groups call for safe space on our streets
Tooting Healthy Streets have joined with many community groups, including BATCA, to call for improving our streets so they are quiet, safe and healthy for the long term. Lockdown has opened our eyes to the gains from a major reduction in traffic. Let’s not throw this away.
” Lockdown has dramatically cut motor traffic and many people including children are walking and cycling for essential journeys and exercise. The roads are quieter, but motoring still dominates and the Metropolitan Police is fighting increases in extreme speeding.
Our streets are needed by all and devoting so much public realm to a small volume of motor traffic wastes precious space and threatens public health. People cannot keep safely distanced on narrow pavements. Wandsworth Council has suggested residents walk in the road to avoid other pedestrians.
We must not risk people’s health. Wandsworth should join other London boroughs in allocating road space to temporary wider pavements and safe cycling lanes. Inexpensive measures such as planters and bollards can remove through traffic from residential streets while maintaining access for residents, deliveries and emergency services.
When lockdown starts to lift, social distancing will be with us for a long time to come. People will not want to crowd onto public transport. We fear that cars will be used as social distancing tools. A car-based recovery would be a disaster, wrecking air quality – dramatically improved since lockdown – slowing movement of goods and essential services, and increasing road casualties.
There should be no going back to congested streets. Air pollution is emerging as a key contributor to Covid-19 deaths and while we tackle this crisis we must not forget the even greater challenge of the climate emergency.
We must act now to support people to go safely about their essential journeys and enable a safe easing of lockdown when the time comes.
Join the call to Wandsworth Council and Transport for London for safe space for socially-distanced walking and cycling: sign the petition at www.change.org/wandsworth
Wandsworth Living Streets
Wandsworth Cycling Campaign
Tooting Healthy Streets
Transition Town Tooting
Extinction Rebellion Wandsworth
Wandsworth Environment Forum
Mums for Lungs
Friends of the Earth Wandsworth
Balham and Tooting Community Association
For more information, email TootingStreets@gmail.com