Cars will continue to be banned from using London Bridge for the majority of the time under proposals announced recently by TfL.
The bridge had been closed to general traffic since March because of essential repair works being carried out. Repair works finished on September 11, and the restrictions had not applied to motorbikes, buses and taxis.
Now cars are being banned from using the bridge between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday.
“Enabling more people to walk and cycle is absolutely vital to London’s recovery from coronavirus, which is why we are extending some of the existing restrictions to London Bridge access as part of our Streetspace programme,” said TfL’s Sam Monck.
“Between 07:00 and 19:00 from Monday to Friday, only people walking and cycling, buses, taxis and motorcycles will be permitted to use the bridge, making it easier for people to access the new walking and cycling corridor to Shoreditch.”
The move has drawn fury from those in the logistics sector, such as lorry drivers. Logistics UK which represents the sector said it would be a devastating blow to economic recovery.
“Logistics businesses and their staff were hailed as heroes during the pandemic for working tirelessly to keep the nation stocked with the essential goods it needs, now, when we need government to support us on our road to financial and operational recovery, it is disappointing it has taken such a destructive measure,” said the organisation’s Natalie Chapman.
“Many logistics businesses are still struggling with cash flow issues and major disruption to operations; this additional burden – which will drive up costs for companies significantly – could be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“And by implementing the closure at such short notice, it will cause businesses immediate, serious challenges with routing and scheduling.
“While the closure is a temporary measure, TfL did not consult with logistics businesses on its plans; we will be campaigning to ensure the scheme is not made permanent.”
TfL admitted that it was not undertaking a formal consultation on the scheme. However, it said it would be keeping the measure “under review.”
In addition, left turns from London Bridge into Duke Street Hill for general traffic will be banned, excluding buses, cycles and taxis. This will apply all times of the day throughout the week.