The government is funding temporary low-traffic neighbourhoods across the country as part of its battle against Covid-19. There are two reasons for this:
Most of Ealing’s residential pavements are too narrow for 2m social distancing. People often have to walk in the road to pass each other. Making the roads quieter makes this safer.
The social distancing rules mean that fewer people can travel by public transport. The government is concerned that people will switch to driving instead. If this happens we will have a lot more vehicles on the road and congestion will be worse than ever. Transport for London has calculated that if all car owners in Ealing switched their public transport trips to car, we would see a 47% increase in private car journeys.1 Even a fraction of this number would clog our roads. To prevent this, the government wants us to make our shorter journeys on foot or by bicycle instead of taking the car. Understandably, most people won’t do that unless they have safer roads to travel on. Creating Street Parks – low-traffic neighbourhoods – will create the safer streets for people to make those journeys. While traffic on main roads initially increases when these are first introduced, it drops over time as people begin to use their cars less and walk and cycle more.