Mayor green-lights six new cycle routes across London

The Mayor of London has today announced six routes where "design work" on "substantially segregated" cycle routes will begin immediately. "The six new routes, across nine London boroughs, have some of the highest potential for cycling but currently lack safe infrastructure," says a statement from City Hall.

However, the previous administration’s cycling commissioner is not impressed with the plans. Andrew Gilligan said: "None [of the routes] are in central London, there is no commitment to build them and I fear it will merely add to the growing backlog of routes that Sadiq isn’t delivering."

A background briefing for journalists from City Hall said: "Initial work suggests these routes would be around 75 per cent on main roads, where we’d want them to be substantially segregated. Around 25 per cent would be high-quality direct routes on back streets."

The new routes will extend from Tottenham in the north, to Peckham in the south, and from Barking in the east, to Willesden Junction in the west. Significantly, none of the routes are being billed as "Cycle Superhighways" or "Quietways", designations which dogged the previous administration. "Superhighways" suggested the cycleways were for speedy cyclists, and "Quietways" were routed away from where many people wanted to cycle, and were often on rat-run roads.

TfL and the boroughs will now begin design work on:

Lea Bridge to Dalston

This 3km route would link the City and Waltham Forest by filling the gap between Lea Bridge Road and Cycle Superhighway 1 at Dalston

Ilford to Barking Riverside

This 8km route would link two bustling outer London town centres and a major growth area with up to 10,800 new homes and a new London Overground connection – while enhancing access to the Elizabeth line and London Overground services

Hackney to the Isle of Dogs

This 8km route would stretch from Hackney to the Isle of Dogs via Canary Wharf, Mile End and Victoria Park

Rotherhithe to Peckham

This 4km route would link Peckham with key and growing destinations such as Canada Water and Surrey Quays, and connect up other cycling routes such as Quietway 1 and the proposed Cycle Superhighway 4

Tottenham Hale to Camden

This 8km route would connect major town centres and will cover seven junctions identified as being among the 73 with the worst safety records

Wembley to Willesden Junction

This 5km route would be north-west London’s first major cycle route, connecting Wembley, Stonebridge Park and Willesden Junction. Future sections will connect to planned infrastructure in west London such as CS9 and CS10.

A statement from City Hall said London Mayor Sadiq Khan is also committed to providing a new river crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf for pedestrians and cyclists, which ultimately could link the proposed cycle routes between Hackney and Peckham to create a continuous 12km cycle route. An initial review of the recent consultation on the proposed Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf Crossing showed strong support for the project. TfL is still analysing all the responses and will be announcing the full results of the consultation in the coming months.

Khan said:

“I’ve committed to invest record amounts in making cycling easier and safer for Londoners, and I’m delighted that work is now beginning on designing the next generation of high-quality cycle routes across the capital.

 “Working closely with the boroughs, we’re providing new routes in both inner and outer London, including in areas that haven’t previously seen serious investment in cycling infrastructure.

“Encouraging more Londoners to cycle as part of their everyday routine is vital – providing huge benefits to people’s health, cutting congestion and air pollution for every Londoner, and improving quality of life in local neighbourhoods. 

London’s walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman said:

 “High-quality cycling infrastructure cannot simply be an option available to a minority of Londoners, and our new Strategic Cycling Analysis shows that there is huge potential for getting more people to cycle all across the city.

“Backed up by the Mayor’s record investment, we’re working in close collaboration with London boroughs to design six new cycle routes that would connect key town centres, join up existing cycle infrastructure, and start to create a genuinely pan-London network of cycle routes accessible to millions more Londoners.”

TfL’s director of transport strategy Lilli Matson said, “These six new routes are set to transform cycling across nearly a third of London’s boroughs, while also benefitting pedestrians and public transport users. The fact that these corridors have been carefully selected based on where they will benefit cyclists most and will be designed in such a way as to balance the needs of walking, cycling and public transport means they will deliver the best possible results for all Londoners and ensure the investment is well spent.”

London Cycling Campaign’s campaigns coordinator Fran Graham said: “The Mayor has laudably promised to triple the amount of protected space for cycling during this mayoralty and commence work on a safe, city-wide cycling network that every Londoner can easily access. By enabling cycling to become the natural choice for everyday journeys, this network will play a pivotal role in achieving the Mayor’s goal of reducing the over-dependence on motor vehicles that is congesting our city, damaging public health and contributing to climate change.

“We welcome the announcement of these important new cycle routes as part of that network. Safe, high-quality conditions for cycling are vital in opening up the enjoyment, convenience and affordability of cycling to far more people. We look forward to working with TfL and the boroughs to make these routes a success.”

Matt Winfield, London director for Sustrans, said: “The Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner is right to focus the investment where evidence shows it will have the greatest benefits, and start working collaboratively with boroughs to deliver these routes to Dutch standards.

“With cycling and walking levels growing rapidly, the Mayor, TfL and London’s Boroughs need to act quickly make our streets to safer, healthier and better places for people.”

 However, as well as the criticism from Gilligan (who worked for a Conservative administration) Conservative London Assembly member Keith Prince has also rounded on the plans.

He said: “It’s a struggle to find cycling campaigners genuinely enthused by these proposals because there’s no guarantee any of them will actually be delivered.

‘Whilst press releases are cheap, delivering decent infrastructure is not.

“The uncertain reaction to this latest announcement suggests Londoners are cottoning on to Sadiq Khan’s modus operandi – promise now and worry about how to get out of delivering them later.”

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