We’re now in the seventh week of lockdown and it has been an incredibly tough and difficult journey for everyone.
So, I just want to put on record my thanks to everybody who followed the rules and stayed at home. There is no doubt that we have saved lives by doing that and also we’ve protected our precious NHS.
We know that the Prime Minister on Sunday is going to announce a limited lifting of the lockdown, but please continue to follow the rules before then. Show discipline, stay at home if you can. Only make essential journeys for food and to look after vulnerable people or to have that brief daily exercise in our parks.
Follow the social distancing rules in our parks, please don’t picnic and sunbathe. By doing all of this we will continue to save lives.
Now, also, please remember that our Tube and bus services are currently only their for essential journeys for key workers to make. And when the lockdown is lifted we know that only 20% of that bus and Tube capacity will be available for people to make journeys because we need to make sure that they are socially distancing on public transport and to stop any second wave of this killer virus.
So, please resist the temptation to jump in your cars when lockdown has lifted. All of the gains that we have made during the lockdown, of better air quality and the lack of traffic on our roads, will be lost. We will be clogged up with traffic and air pollution will be choking us all.
So, what we want to do – and we are doing this working with the Mayor of London – is implementing what he is calling Streetspace. We want to allocate more of the road space for pedestrians to walk so that where there are congested areas on our pavements around schools, Tube stations, or shops, people will have sufficient space to social distance and make those essential journeys.
Also we wanted to create more space for cycling. We want this to be a healthy, green, active travel route out of lockdown.
So, please don’t jump in your cars. Walk and cycle in the weeks ahead. Thank you.