Cycle campaigners call for safer streets in Brent post lockdown

PUBLISHED: 11:19 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:29 13 May 2020

Kilburn HIgh Road where campaigners are calling for wider pavements and narrower roads. Picture: @LifeinKilburn

Kilburn HIgh Road where campaigners are calling for wider pavements and narrower roads. Picture: @LifeinKilburn


Cycling campaigners have written an open letter to Brent Council to make roads safer as lockdown restrictions are reduced,

Brent Cycling Campaign (BCC) is urging the council and Transport for London (TfL) to provide space to protect cyclists and pedestrians from road dangers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a green light to driving in his address on Sunday (May 10), saying certain groups were permitted back to work if they could not do their job from home.

The letter, written by Sylvia Gauthereau on May 2, urged the council to take action.

The BCC coordinator wrote: “Soon, we will be allowed to travel back to work, to open shops, to check on friends, family some of whom are most at risk, and children may return to school.

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“Inevitably, physical distancing will still have to be observed.

“We are asking Brent Council to work with Transport for London in implementing the necessary measures, through a Local Transport Action Plan, to provide the space we need to comply with distancing safely. We need space to protect ourselves from road danger, passive travel and pollution. If no steps are taken now, these issues will decrease the ability of NHS and Council to cope in the long term.”

Measures include widening pavements, allowing people to walk safely and creating pop-up cycle lanes to create a safe space for cycling and to support key workers who have “embraced cycling during the lockdown’.

Brent declared a climate environmental and ecological emergency in July pledging “healthy streets”.

Ms Gautereau added: “Given the treacherous link between air quality induced illnesses and Covid-19, we urge the council to do everything possible to prevent a surge in people driving for their local mobility needs now and post lockdown.”

Cllr Shama Tatler, lead member for regeneration, property & planning, said green, active travel “will be a crucial part of our post-lockdown recovery plan”.

She added: ”We are working with organisations, including TfL, to identify measures to promote walking and cycling in Brent, whilst helping everyone to observe social distancing. Full details of these measures will be announced in due course. There is also a lot work already ongoing that we can build on and into our plans, such as the School Streets pilot, and the development of a cycle corridor between Wembley and Willesden.”

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