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Waterloo and London Bridges could go car-free

London SE1 website team

Cars and vans could be banned from Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge - and pavements on Borough High Street are to be widened - under measures to make walking and cycling easier whilst social distancing measures are in force.

Waterloo and London Bridges could go car-free

The measures are part of a new Steetspace plan to create more space for social distancing when walking and cycling, ensuring that the people who have no choice but to return to work in central London can do so as safely as possible.

City Hall says that Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge may be restricted to people walking, cycling and buses only, with pavements widened to enable people to safely travel between busy railway stations and their workplaces.

TfL is looking into providing zero emission capable taxis with access to both these bridges, and other areas where traffic is restricted.

Car and van access to London Bridge is currently restricted as a result of City of London Corporation work to replace the bridge decking.

"Covid-19 poses the biggest challenge to London's public transport network in TfL's history. It will take a monumental effort from all Londoners to maintain safe social distancing on public transport as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased," said Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London.

"That means we have to keep the number of people using public transport as low as possible. And we can't see journeys formerly taken on public transport replaced with car usage because our roads would immediately become unusably blocked and toxic air pollution would soar.

"I ask that Londoners do not use public transport unless it is absolutely unavoidable it must be a last resort. If you can work from home you should continue to do so. We should all spend more of our leisure time in our local areas too."

"We will need many more Londoners to walk and cycle to make this work. That's why these plans will transform parts of central London to create one of the largest car-free areas in any capital city in the world.

"If we want to make transport in London safe, and keep London globally competitive, then we have no choice but to rapidly repurpose London's streets for people. By ensuring our city's recovery is green, we will also tackle our toxic air which is vital to make sure we don't replace one public health crisis with another. I urge all boroughs to work with us to make this possible.

"I fully appreciate that this will be incredibly difficult for many Londoners. It will mean a fundamental reimagining how we live our lives in this city. And this transformation will not be smooth. But I promise to be as clear and upfront with Londoners as possible about what we are doing, why and exactly what we need from you in order to keep us safe."

Lambeth has announced a suite of radical changes to streets. Southwark's plan is lighter on specific details but the council is asking for public suggestions for locations where changes could be made to facilitate social distancing.

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