Walking and Cycling during COVID-19

Here at Enjoy Waltham Forest, we are striving to keep on improving our walking and cycling for residents during this time.

Waltham Forest Council is looking into a range of measures on our road network to respond to social distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are various emergency measures being considered to ensure road safety for pedestrians and cyclists, to help people to use our streets more safely and further support active travel in the short to medium term.

Currently, our longer term programme of work is on hold due to funding restrictions. We will keep our website updated with future developments, which you can find here. 

Temporary Road Measures 

Parking suspensions

As part of the first stage of planned works the council has identified four areas, where footway parking bays will be suspended to enable people to follow social distancing guidelines. These temporary parking suspensions have been chosen in town centres and shopping areas to support people to continue to take their daily exercise or to shop for essential items, such as food or medicines. Where possible parking provision for disabled users and business deliveries/servicing will be maintained. Additional sites will be added once investigated and introduced.

Sites with parking suspensions:

High Road Leytonstone/Church Lane
Wood Street
Cann Hall Road
Higham Hill Road

Palmerston Road
Forest Road
Hainault Road
Hoe Street

High Road Leyton – north of Capworth Street
Higham Hill Road – south of Gloucester Road

Leytonstone High Road

Temporary Footway widening

The Council is investigating a range of other locations where footways could be temporary widened by reclaiming space from the carriageway. In some instances this could involve suspending carriageway parking bays or waiting/loading provision. As above, the priority locations we are investigating at present are those around town centres, shopping areas and areas of high footfall or anticipated queuing. Where space is being reclaimed from the carriageway temporary barriers and/or traffic management controls will be put in place to help protect users.

Sites with temporary footway widening (from 22 May):

Higham Hill between Gloucester Road and Hecham Close
James Lane between Hospital Road and Clare Road (side adjacent to Whipps Cross hospital)
Winchester Road – Between Cavendish Road and Selwyn Avenue on the opposite side of the road (excluding EV bay)
Grove Green Road – between Rhodesia Road and Hampton Road

Strategic Cycle Network

Despite current uncertainty around future funding we are actively looking at where we can continue to expand our strategic cycle network in the short term, potentially using lower cost design approaches and materials such as mandatory cycle lanes and light segregation infrastructure. Further information will be provided once more detailed investigations have been completed and potential funding opportunities confirmed

Low Traffic Streets

Prior to Covid-19 we consulted on and subsequently approved a number of Low Traffic Neighbourhood Schemes within the borough. We are currently exploring options around how we can continue to deliver these schemes in light of funding uncertainties. This may mean using alternative materials and lower cost approaches in the interim to deliver the key benefits to residents. Alongside this we are also looking at a number of other roads and areas which could benefit from lower levels of traffic to help support social distancing and active travel.


Cyclist in a cycle lane on Forest Road




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