- Reduce pressure on our public transport networks, where social distancing requirements are still in place. This would mean that buses and trains would be more easily available to people who cannot walk and cycle
- Reduce the number of trips made in London by car. Congestion levels across London would rise if trips previously made by buses or trains were instead made by car. This would delay not only buses, taxis and other public transport services such as Dial-a-Ride; but also the emergency services and freight and servicing trips
- In some cases it is necessary to relocate some disabled parking bays to make it possible to provide facilities to encourage people to cycle. We locate these bays to nearby side streets, where there would naturally be less traffic so that it is safer for older and disabled people
How are you choosing where to introduce these measures?
We are providing new temporary cycle lanes in those areas where our analysis has shown there is the greatest potential for more people to cycle. We are providing temporary measures to help people to safely social distance only where pavements are narrow and there is the potential for lots of pedestrians to gather - for example, at busy high streets or transport interchanges. It will take a little time after the introduction of each new temporary scheme for the numbers of people cycling and walking to increase.
Does TfL not agree that some journeys simply cannot be made on foot or with a bicycle?
Of course we do. We want to emphasise that providing new walking and cycling facilities is intended to help everyone who can do so to walk and cycle more often. We know and understand that there will be some people who cannot do so, however these changes will offer benefits to them also. If we did not provide some people with the means to walk and cycle more often, there would be greater pressure on our road and public transport networks. This would actively disadvantage everyone who needs a vehicle to travel because there would be greater congestion across London. It would also disadvantage people who rely on public transport, because there would be greater demand for buses and trains.
Are these measures not just increasing congestion or rat-running?
We undertake assessments of the potential traffic flow impacts of the changes we have introduced. Whenever a change is made to an existing road layout, there will always be a period of time after it has first been introduced in which traffic will need to adjust to the new layouts. We are confident that, after people have adjusted to the new layouts, there will be a neutral effect on traffic flow. We however listen to local people, and monitor the effects of the changes once they have been introduced. There is further information about our monitoring in the Documents section.
Are these measures delaying the emergency services?
We and London’s local authorities are working jointly with all of London’s emergency services. Each month, we and London’s boroughs meet with senior representatives from the emergency services to discuss the changes and any issues that it may be causing. This gives the emergency services much greater awareness of the schemes we and London’s boroughs have implemented and allows them to provide response time data, which we use to identify and adjust any schemes which might be causing an issue.
As London continues to recover from the effects of the coronavirus, any increase in car use will lead to an increase in congestion on London’s roads which would have a detrimental impact on the vital work undertaken by the emergency services.
Will you make changes to these schemes once they have been implemented?
Where changes are identified as being required, yes. Sometimes schemes will need to be adapted once they are in place, and introducing them as experiments better allows us to do that. Feedback from local people and other stakeholders and our ongoing monitoring help us to understand where changes might be needed, and what changes are required.
Why is it necessary to ban certain turns to traffic?
In each case, the temporary and experimental changes we introduce in a particular area are intended to address a set of issues specific to that area.
In many cases, we are restricting turns because a large proportion of collisions in London in which people walking or cycling are injured or killed involve traffic turning right or left at junctions.
By restricting certain movements temporarily, we can greatly reduce the potential for collisions and help people to feel safer.
Why are you removing parking or loading bays?
We temporarily remove parking and loading bays only where absolutely required to provide more room for people to safely social distance, or to help people to cycle more easily or safely. Wherever possible, we introduce new temporary parking bays on side roads. As much as we possibly can, we plan the schemes so that some provision for loading or unloading is available as close as possible to local businesses. At the same time, it simply isn’t possible for us to provide parking or loading bays in close vicinity to every business in London.
Do these measures not just make it harder for businesses to trade?
We know that people who walk, cycle or use public transport shop more often than those who drive, and they spend up to 40 per cent more in high streets and town centres than those who drive there. For businesses who rely on making or taking deliveries, it is important that traffic is as free-flowing as possible. Introducing more walking and cycling facilities will help encourage everyone who can do so to walk or cycle, as an alternative to using the car. If we were not to help people to avoid private transport as much as possible, there would be an unmanageable increase in congestion across London. This would be highly disruptive, including to the emergency services and businesses who rely on deliveries, and would increase pollution, which contributes to thousands of premature deaths.
Are you discussing these temporary changes with older and disabled people’s organisations?
Yes. We are engaging with organisations representing people with specific accessibility requirements to understand their views on the changes delivered so far. Over the past year we have hosted a series of working groups with representatives from older and disabled people's organisations, including Transport for All, Disability Rights UK, Inclusion London, SCOPE and Royal National Institute of Blind People.
What will you do to ensure that these changes do not make it harder for older and disabled people to make essential journeys?
We believe introducing more walking and cycling facilities would help older and disabled people to get around. By encouraging people who can do so to walk and cycle more often we can:
Can taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers pick up and set down disabled customers on cycle lanes?
Yes, taxi and PHV drivers can pick up and set down all customers at the kerb edge, including people with mobility impairments, by entering any cycle lane marked by a painted line. There are however different types of cycle infrastructure, not just cycle lanes, that include additional infrastructure components that can affect accessing the kerb:
• Advisory and mandatory cycle lanes, marked by a painted line, can be entered into by taxis and PHVs for pick-up and drop-off at the kerb edge
• Light segregated cycle lanes (which may include the use of wands, cylinders or other light segregating objects) consist of mandatory cycle lanes, and so again taxis and PHVs are permitted to enter the cycle lane to access the kerb. The spacing of wands or cylinders is usually sufficient to allow for this movement
• Fully segregated cycle tracks that are at pavement level would, in most situations, allow for a taxi to pull up to the kerb to deploy an access ramp across the cycle track. The passenger would need to move across the cycle track to get between the taxi and the pavement
• Fully segregated cycle tracks that are at road level and have a kerbed island between the road and cycle track should not be entered by taxis or PHVs. In most situations a vehicle would be permitted to pull up to the kerb, with the passenger needing to cross the cycle track to get between the taxi and the pavement. Some pavement layouts provide a sufficiently wide kerbed island for wheelchair access and/or a step-free crossing of the cycle track. We are aware for some people with mobility impairments some sections of fully segregated cycle track at road-level will not be fully accessible for kerbside wheelchair access or stepping up and down between pavements. Alternative options on nearby side roads, or as part of the main road layout at dedicated locations, are included where this is not possible
This information in relation to cycling facilities should be read in conjunction with other taxi and PHV information around setting down and picking up customers, including ensuring that taxis or PHVs do not cause an obstruction or safety hazard to other road users.
What support are you giving older and disabled people to get used to these changes?
We understand that changes to the road network can take some time to get used to, and can be difficult for people with particular impairments. We run a free Travel Mentoring Service to help older and disabled people use the network, and this can include getting used to changes on the road network. They can give advice over the phone or videocall, as well as making some journeys with people.