Amid the confusion that followed Boris Johnson’s televised announcement easing the lockdown, Will Norman was clear about one thing – the way people move around cities would never be the same again.
“We are going to have a new normal coming out of this,” said London’s walking and cycling commissioner the morning after Johnson’s address to the nation. “Things are going to change whether we like it or not.”
The equation is clear to city leaders around the world. The coronavirus crisis means that packed public transport systems cannot run at full capacity. If people turn to private cars en masse it will lead to gridlock, economic meltdown as deliveries get snarled up and a rise in dangerous air pollution – the last thing needed in the midst of a respiratory disease pandemic.
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