Adapting public spaces to make travel safer and support H&F businesses

Streets across Hammersmith & Fulham are being temporarily adapted to make social distancing easier, walking and cycling safer, and support businesses during the COVID-19 crisis and predicted recession.

Pavements will be widened, and new segregated cycling lanes will be installed on key routes across Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and White City to make it safer for those travelling to work by bike.

Proposals to transform the public realm with neighbourhood road closures, and pop-up planters and allotments are being drawn up. These measures will help improve air quality.

“We’re asking people to practise social distancing to stop the contagion and save lives yet in many cases our pavements simply are not wide enough,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment.

“The risk is that as some people return to work, they will understandably keep away from public transport leaving us with more cars, more congestion, and more pollution – but far fewer people actually commuting. That isn’t sustainable and we’re working to give everyone in this difficult time safe alternatives such as cycling.”

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Image caption: Image 2: An outdoor cafe in Brackenbury village

New cycle lanes

Segregated cycle lanes will be created by using temporary bollards, then rubber kerbing or planters where possible, in:

  • King Street, Hammersmith
  • Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith
  • Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush
  • Shepherds Bush Green
  • Wood Lane, White City.

The lanes will begin to be installed from Monday (18 May).

From next week, the council will also be introducing partial road closures to allow more pedestrians and cyclists to travel safely on some routes that join with the Thames Path. This includes Black Lion Lane and Rivercourt Road in Hammersmith, and Stevenage Road in Fulham. These closures will be marked with barriers and will be clearly signposted.

Plans to create wider footways in Lillie Road and Fulham Palace Road in Fulham are also being investigated.

Supporting local business

When more retail businesses re-open, they face the challenge of maintaining social distancing and the effects of a likely recession.

Working with local people and businesses, the council will take measures to transform the public realm and allocate more road space for people and businesses to use.

These localised schemes could include introducing more space for dining outside of cafes and restaurants, adding planters and pop-up allotments, street theatre, market stalls from local suppliers, and art installations.

Much cleaner air

Residents in the capital are currently enjoying the cleanest air in years after lockdown requirements slashed the numbers of polluting vehicles on our roads.

Levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are now 66 per cent lower than they were in 2017 – prior to the effects of the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) – and almost 50 per cent lower than they were at the start of the year, under the ULEZ.

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Image caption: Image 3: North End Road market trader

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