Campaign group urges introduction of pop-up cycle lanes in Havering to help key workers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:52 15 May 2020

Havering Cyclists activist Terry Hughes.  Picture: Terry Hughes

Havering Cyclists activist Terry Hughes. Picture: Terry Hughes

Terry Hughes

Campaigners have called for pop-up cycle lanes to be introduced in Havering to help key workers travel safely around the borough.

Havering Cyclists wrote to the council and urged councillors to bring in temporary measures to encourage people to travel safely and sustainably.

Also among the initiatives suggested by the group, which is a branch of the London Cycling Campaign, is vehicle speed restrictions.

Activist Terry Hughes said: “Many key workers are now cycling to work. Many local residents have taken up cycling to the shops but, without some intervention, this behaviour is unlikely to continue when motor traffic levels return to normal or, as we fear, become worse.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced in his address to the nation earlier this month that people who are unable to work from home should now return to their workplaces.

Terry called on the council to control the “expected surge” in traffic resulting from the easing of the restrictions.

He outlined the group’s idea of creating pop-up cycle lanes on the borough’s wider roads, like New Road, Rainham as well as Main Road and London Road in Romford.

The campaigner said these could be accommodated by speed restrictions at roundabouts along these roads.

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“The idea of the temporary measures would be to create corridors that would follow the main public transport links,” Terry added.

“Around Havering we see many more new and returning cyclists and it would be very helpful if Havering Council were to look at some simple low-cost measures that will provide some protection and encouragement to people cycling.

“This is important because it will enable those who want to cycle to do so and allow the limited capacity on public transport to be more available for those that really need it.”

Havering Council leader Damian White said the council is fully encouraging people to cycle and walk to work or for leisure.

He added: “The council is considering the various options available and awaiting Transport for London (TfL) and Department for Transport guidance on these measures.

“We are also waiting to hear from TfL about the funding opportunities for these type of projects. Once we know more, we can make better informed decisions in due course.”

A TfL spokesman said: “Through our Streetspace programme, we’ve created new and improved cycle lanes on some of our busiest streets and added around 5,000 sq m of extra space on footpaths during the past week alone.

“We are also working closely with Havering and other boroughs who are keen to bring in similar changes to their roads.

“Now that we have reached an agreement with the Government on a funding and financing support package, we are working closely with boroughs to deliver these critical services and are issuing guidance to boroughs shortly.”

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