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Hackney Council to widen pavements and suspend parking to help with social distancing

PUBLISHED: 14:35 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:21 30 April 2020

Mayor Phil Glanville and environment chief Cllr Jon Burke.

Mayor Phil Glanville and environment chief Cllr Jon Burke.

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Emergency road safety measures from the council will see pavements widened and parking suspended in areas where social distancing is proving difficult.

The project aims to make it easier for people to keep two metres from each other while walking for daily exercise or buying essential items.

Temporary parking restrictions have also been brought in at Broadway Market, which is also being closed to through-traffic to improve safety in the busy street.

The seven sites where the council is using barriers to widen pavements are at Sainsbury’s Local in Mare Street south of Ash Grove, in Chatsworth Road outside various shops, Sainsbury’s Local in Blackstock Road, the Iceland in Mare Street near Well Street, Sainsbury’s Local in Lower Clapton Road, Tesco Express in East Road and Co-Op in New North Road.

The council has also asked TfL to request similar measures outside retailers on the roads it manages in the borough.

Transport chief Cllr Jon Burke said: “By widening pavements at congested sites, we’re reallocating space to pedestrians to ensure they can follow government public health guidance wherever possible. This compliments the work we’ve already undertaken to keep our parks open and accessible to all by installing hundreds of banners, posters, and stenciled messages to remind people of public health guidance.

“The coronavirus pandemic is also encouraging people to think differently about how much space is allocated to private cars. Now, more than ever, our residents are finding they need space to safely walk and cycle. These new healthy streets measures to widen pavements and introduce restrictions to parking and through-traffic at Broadway Market are further examples of our commitment to keeping the people of Hackney safe at this difficult time.”

Cllr Burke said that with social distancing perhaps needed until the end of the year, it will be vital to keep roads safe for social distancing and from the “serious deterioration” in driver behaviour.

As a result, the council is also working on wider measures including increasing its number of modal filters, which currently stands at 120.

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