Covid-19 has changed how we live, work and travel. These changes have brought about cleaner, quieter and safer streets with less traffic congestion, better air quality and more walking and cycling. If these changes are sustained, we would see a significant reduction in air and noise pollution, benefiting the environment and improving quality of life and health.
Southwark Council has now launched a website where people can suggest and support ideas to improve our streets and help to achieve the following objectives:
· Maximise pedestrian space within the public highway to help people pass each other and queue, whilst adhering to the government’s social distancing rules
· Provide measures to make it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport, whilst removing through traffic, as the lockdown is lifted
Businesses, employees, residents and visitors are invited to comment and make suggestions for other measures that will help with social distancing, discouraging traffic, improving walking and cycling and identifying crowded areas of footway.
Some measures have already been put in place. Pavements at the northern end of Borough High Street and parts of Southwark Street and St Thomas Street have already been widened as part of the Mayor of London's Streetspace scheme to make it easier for pedestrians to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Better Bankside has put forward some recommendations. See the full list below and like/comment on these ideas on the Commonplace map. Go directly to point on the map by clicking each project below. Here you can comment and/or like projects.
Lavington Street - Narrow pavement on north side of the street, under 2m width. Some sections under 1.5m. Lack of cycle parking. Accessibility issues, with drop kerbs missing.
Park Street - Narrow pavement through most of its length. Park Street corridor is a busy pedestrian connection between London Bridge station and the offices and cultural attractions north of Southwark Street. It would be useful to explore what measures could be implemented to create more room for pedestrians at peak times
Great Guildford Street – Area around junction with Wardens Grove and America Street – extremely constrained pavements on both sides of Great Guildford Street and America Street. At peak times these are key walking and cycling routes. Parking on the street predominantly used by servicing vehicles. The street also serves as a cut through from Southwark Bridge Road. Recommendation to review options and experiment in access only/one way system (for delivery, servicing and emergency vehicles) to enable more space for walking and cycling.
Southwark Bridge Road – CS7 - Better Bankside fully supports efforts to upgrade the walking and cycling offer on this street. As there is a perception of unsafe cycling environment, derived from fast moving heavy traffic. Some thought and provision should be put towards retaining public transport provision here and some delivery and servicing facilities
Southwark Street - Semi-permeable cycle track protection can be provided on along the carriage-way as this is a key east-west route in Central London. We identify six locations where pedestrian crossings should be rethought to enable more responsive pedestrian signals: Junction with Blackfriars Road, near Bear Lane, near Great Suffolk Street, near Great Guildford Street, Southwark Bridge Road, near O’Meara St, pedestrian Crossing refuges should be considered between CitizenM Hotel and Marks and Spencer.
Borough Market environs: Stoney Street, Winchester Walk, Bedale Street, Cathedral Street: High footfall area in constrained mediaeval streets, competing with through traffic and local delivery/servicing traffic. Many of the pavements are narrow with high kerbs which further impact how people use these streets. Particularly busy with through pedestrian traffic to/from London Bridge Station in the AM and PM peaks.
Farnham Place to Lavington Street: Removal of a barrier to improve pedestrian permeability. A pedestrian cut through by Table Café linking Southwark Street to Lavington Street.
Thrale Street - Reimagine underutilised space by improving pedestrian capacity and installing cycle parking on the carriageway.
Mermaid Court - Not enough space for physical distancing, very narrow. Pedestrianisation supported by local businesses and landowners.
Tabard Street - Reduce or remove the hot food market to give more space for physical/social distancing.
Great Suffolk Street Parade - No space for physical distancing. Review the operation of the street to discourage parking and through traffic.