London plans road closures for returning office workers amid Covid-19
London’s financial district is preparing for office workers to return from lockdown by proposing the temporary closing of some main roads, even as official U.K. government advice urges commuters to stay off trains and buses.
Plans to be considered by the City of London Corporation include one-way pedestrian walkways and timed road closures aimed at managing commuter flow in an area that employs some 520,000 people, the group said in a circular Wednesday.
Some street changes will be required to provide additional space for people walking and cycling, the corporation said, and main roads in the City may be closed to motor vehicles between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. City of London members will discuss the measures on Thursday.
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As the U.K. begins taking “baby steps" out of its seven-week-old coronavirus lockdown, the City of London faces a high-stakes effort to ensure workers are kept safe and that London remains an attractive place to do business.
The financial sector and related services account for about 8% of the U.K. economy, according to the lobby group TheCityUK. The so-called Square Mile -- home to many financial firms including Bank of America Corp. -- is a centuries-old district full of narrow streets that make two-meter social distancing a challenge.