NEW mega-wide pavements have been unveiled across London so shoppers can safely keep their social distance from others.
The pavements will eventually be rolled out across London.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said public transport could potentially only run at fifth of pre-crisis capacity, and people would need to switch to walking or cycling for many of their journeys.
The super-wide pavements are part of the Streetspace scheme to make sure people can get around without breaching social distancing measures – particularly in anticipation of more people heading back to work.
It comes days before Boris Johnson is expected to announce his blueprint for easing the lockdown at 7pm on Sunday.
Changes could come as soon as Monday, but are likely to be minor.
There will also be new temporary cycle lines to encourage more people to hop on their bike.
Pavements have already been doubled at Camden High Street and Stoke Newington High Street, and widened at locations in Southwark, Hackney, Lambeth, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Croydon.
The Mayor’s Office warned that if cars replace a fraction of tube journeys “London risks grinding to a halt, air quality will worsen, and road danger will increase”.
Around five times the number of people could be walking to work, and ten times more cyclists could hit the roads once lockdown measures begin to be eased.
Euston Road – one of the most polluted roads in London – will be the first main road with the temporary cycle lines.
Mr Khan said: “The capacity of our public transport will be dramatically reduced post-coronavirus as a result of the huge challenges we face around social distancing.
“Everyone who can work from home must continue to do so for some time to come.
“The emergency measures included in our major strategic London Streetspace programme will help those who have to travel to work by fast-tracking the transformation of streets across our city.
“Many Londoners have rediscovered the joys of walking and cycling during lockdown and, by quickly and cheaply widening pavements, creating temporary cycle lanes and closing roads to through traffic we will enable millions more people to change the way they get around our city.”
“I urge the Government and boroughs to work with us to enable Londoners to switch to cleaner, more sustainable forms of transport – and reduce the pressure on other parts of our transport network – once the lockdown is eased.”