Features

Where to now?

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Wanstead Village councillors Jo Blackman, Daniel Morgan-Thomas and Paul Donovan invite you to drop a pin on the Redbridge Active Travel map and submit your thoughts about shaping a greener Wanstead and Woodford

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused terrible loss of life across the country. These have been challenging times for our community, but it has been fantastic to see people stepping up to help out in so many ways.

And many people have spent more time exploring their local area on foot and by bike.

Now, as we come out of lockdown, there is the possibility of shaping a whole new way of living. The chance to draw on some of the positives of the past three months – the reduction in pollution and carbon emissions. Silence all around. The chance to hear the birds and see the stars.

We must not let all of these gains be thrown away, with a rush to fill the skies with planes and the roads with cars in an effort to make up for loss of economic activity over the pandemic period. There is the chance now to move to a way of living that preserves and builds on some of the gains of the past three months. A transition to a way of living that helps confront that other great crisis in our midst – climate change.

We are keen to find a way to maintain and promote more forms of sustainable transport beyond the current pandemic as part of a green recovery.

The trial closure of some streets in Wanstead Village to enable social distancing could pave the way for street spaces that promote and encourage cycling and walking. Changes such as these could help us achieve those goals of a cleaner, greener way of living. An environment where both young and old can move around more freely, breathing cleaner air.

We know there is much more the council can do to improve cycle paths, walkways, junctions, improve bike storage and encourage the use of electric vehicles.

Redbridge Council wants to hear residents’ views about how we can make our streets safer and promote cycling and walking. So, please share your views and suggestions on the Redbridge Active Travel project’s interactive map.

We know from our inbox and advice service that local residents have lots of ideas about how to make our streets work better for pedestrians and cyclists. Now is the time to share those views to shape the future design of our streets, pavements and cycle paths. If you don’t speak out, nothing will change.

Covid-19 has shown how we can work together to build our communities and support each other. Let’s build on that to ensure a positive legacy for our streets, ward and borough.

To submit your suggestions on how to make Redbridge’s streets healthier and safer, visit wnstd.com/map
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