Social Distancing in the City of London

Streets across the City of London are experiencing radical change as we redesign our streets to allow for social distancing with greater ease, safer walking and cycling routes, whilst supporting businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The City of London Corporation in conjunction with their term contractor Riney’s have been implementing traffic management measures that has actively increased pavement widths, whilst providing new/additional segregated cycling lanes. This process will see significant change upon every street within the City of London, especially as phase 2 is deployed in the near future. Phase One of the scheme has include the included the provision of more space for people walking on Threadneedle Street, Old Broad Street and Cannon Street; and the introduction of timed closures and changes on Coleman Street, Lombard Street and St Mary Axe..

Phase Two will see a further seven kilometres of streets being temporarily changed, including the reallocation of highway to pedestrians and cyclists on Fleet Street and Moorgate, timed closure of Moorfields to motor vehicles and the closure of Chancery Lane to through traffic. The initiative will remain adaptable to changing circumstances with the measures able to be scaled up or down as required to ensure the safety of all City workers, residents and visitors set to return in coming weeks in line with Government guidance.

Alastair Moss, Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation, said:

“We are changing the City streets now to give reassurance to people as they plan to return to work, as and when government guidance allows.

“Our immediate focus is on ensuring the safety of those people who are unable to work from home and who will be returning to the City imminently.

“Our recovery plan dedicates generous space for City workers, residents and visitors to move around on foot and by bike both safely and comfortably.

“We are ready to support the safe, sustainable and gradual return of people to the City, as it again becomes the thriving world-class centre for business.”

Like many authorities, we have experienced many logistical challenges regarding the sourcing of barriers, water filled barriers, cones and stencils, but we have overcome these challenges to achieve the desired outcomes. The next challenge will be the maintenance of these traffic management measures to ensure they remain suitable and sufficient for their function. We have therefore dedicated gangs to ensure these remain intact and position, until wider decisions about the next stages ( semi-permanent, permanent or removal) are decided by our members.

Let’s see what the future holds!

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