It’s particularly lovely to be able to walk out of our houses in Ealing to the sound of birdsong, conversations between neighbours, and children playing in their gardens, rather than the sound of ‘planes taking off at Heathrow airport, the constant drone of traffic on the A4, and the nuisance of accelerating cars cutting through the residential streets of Ealing.
It’s particularly lovely that people of all ages and from all walks of life are now taking to their bikes for their daily exercise. Now that 90% of the road traffic has gone we are no longer faced with the stress of cycling around Ealing, and our families can now take to the roads without the fear of being harmed.
This complete transformation of the streetscapes of Ealing has to ask the question, have more lives been saved across the country thanks to the reduction in air pollution and a reduction in road traffic casualties than have been taken from COVID-19? With air pollution thought to cause 10,000 early deaths a year, and TfL having detailed reports showing road traffic casualties of 25,000 per year then it is very possible.
Putting aside the terrible cost in human lives on our Ealing roads, the transformation back to quiet neighbourly streets where people can chat to each other without shouting and let their children head out without undue worry about their safety has got to be something to all want to promote and to continue after the end of this pandemic.
The quality of our future lives depends on it.