The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced plans to transform central parts of the capital into one of the largest car free zones in the world.
Transport for London say these measures are necessary to enable safe social distancing on public transport as lockdown restriction are eased.
They said it will also help to encourage more people to cycle and walk – improving the city’s air quality.
The Mayor stresses public transport must only be used when absolutely necessary. He said everyone who can work from home must continue doing so for foreseeable future.
Londoners who cannot work from home and who can only get to work on rail are advised to now to walk or cycle from rail stations rather than using tube or bus.As part of Transport for London’s plan some streets will be converted to cycling and walking only – with others restricted to all vehicles apart from buses.
Streets between London Bridge - Shoreditch, Euston - Waterloo and Old Street - Holborn may be limited to buses, pedestrians and cyclists to help encourage safe and sustainable travel.
Access for emergency services and disabled people will be maintained, but deliveries on some streets may need to be made outside of congestion charging hours.
TfL have also suggested Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge could be restricted to pedestrians, cyclists and buses only.
With more than half a million people working in the City of London. Tfl say they are working with the City of London Corporation to made changes to allow for social distancing for employees.
“We are working to get the City back on its feet gradually in a safe and sustainable manner in partnership with TfL. That is why we are prioritising space for pedestrians and cyclists as any significant increase in the use of cars or taxis would lead to congestion, increased air pollution and road danger."
From Monday 18 May, London’s Congestion charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone will be reintroduced and as of next month the charge will increase to £15.
Its hours of operation will also be extended – running from 7am to 10pm, seven days of week from 22 June.
TfL said they are still committed to supporting NHS and care home staff and for those who work in the congestion charge zone their journeys will continue to be reimbursed
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London urges Londoners not to use public transport unless its absolutely unavoidable.
“We will need many more Londoners to walk and cycle to make this work. That’s why these plans will transform parts of central London to create one of the largest car-free areas in any capital city in the world."