More streets in Haringey will be turned ‘car free’ for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, if calls by opposition Lib Dem councillors in the borough are heeded.
They are asking the Council to take advantage of a recent relaxation of regulations by the Department for Transport, which make it easier for Councils to give temporary precedence to pedestrians and cyclists.
This follows the announcement last week, by Brighton and Hove Council that it would pedestrianise a stretch of road along the sea front for the duration of the crisis. Lib Dem councillors in Haringey, believe there is an appetite for similar measures here.
They believe that a combination of public health advice to maintain social distance and avoid non-essential public transport use, a reduction in road traffic volumes, and new research showing a link between air pollution and covid-19 deaths mean local residents would welcome steps to make walking and cycling safer and more pleasant.
Cllr Nick da Costa (LD – Alexandra ward, Haringey) comments that:
"This has already happened on my mum's street in Vienna, where it has been a huge success. It’s also been rolled out in Berlin, Bogota, New York, Vancouver and Washington, amongst others cities. Now Brighton is showing it can happen in the UK too.
“If Haringey takes advantage of this opportunity, it would be a welcome release for our residents who may not have access to gardens for exercise, but are worried about pavements being too narrow to walk or cycle whilst maintaining social distance."
Cllr da Costa added that he and his Liberal Democrat colleagues would welcome suggestions from the public on which roads they should be temporarily opened up to pedestrians and cyclists during the pandemic. Please email your views to [email protected]