Threat to central London as commuters embrace suburbs, warns Sadiq Khan

Threat to central London as commuters embrace suburbs, warns Sadiq Khan

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a potential “existential threat” to central London because many people may in future choose to work in the suburbs rather than in the heart of the capital, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said on Sunday.

In an interview in the Observer New Review, the mayor says it is issues such as this possible reconfiguration of London that keep him awake at night. He also talks openly about his struggles with mental health during the pandemic, admitting that he has found it “really hard” working from home, that he misses personal contact, including playing football every Sunday, and that lack of access to his wider family and particularly his mother has left him feeling down.

With less than six months to go before he stands for a second term in elections that have been delayed by a year as a result of Covid-19, he suggests the effects of the pandemic could be profound and lasting, changing how and where people work.

“I think we’ve got to accept the fact that there is potentially an existential threat to central London as we know it,” he says. His team is, he says, working on a number of responses to the challenges. “Are there going to be satellite-type offices in outer London because people may not want to work from home but in a co-working space in zone 5 or zone 4?”…

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