Plans for a £913m segregated urban cycleway for London have been unveiled in a move to get more people to cycle safely in the capital.
The cycleway will be made up of two routes, one running 3 miles from north to south from Kings Cross to Elephant and Castle and the other from east to west from Barking to Acton over 18 miles.
The routes are scheduled to open in 2016, with work beginning in March 2015 and will surely be a welcome addition to the scores of people who use their bikes every day to get to work in and around the city. Recent statistics suggest that bicycles make up nearly a quarter of all vehicles during rush hour in London, and as much more vulnerable road users it makes increasing sense to develop these cycle only areas. Transport for London want to increase cycling in London by 400% by 2025 (when compared with 2000 levels), so the introduction of these new cycle superhighways will hopefully encourage more people to take to their bikes to meet this target.
Similar schemes have been shown to promote economic growth in cities around the world with the best examples being found in Copenhagen (a leader in the field for dedicated cycleways), New York, Gronigen and Cambridge. Copenhagen have recently finished work on the Cykelslangen, or ‘Cycle Snake’ which is a 4m wide elevated cyclist only lane that connects their highway to the harbour bridge over a stretch of 220m. This has freed up space for motorists on the road, pedestrians on the street and has given cyclists enough room to manoeuvre safely amongst themselves. In other words an unmitigated success. Hopefully the UK can begin to emulate this form of infrastructure.
These dedicated cycle routes help to promote cycling to more and more people as it means that getting on your bike is safer and more accessible. Our colleague Andy found this to work particularly well when he went to Amsterdam a few months ago, and it is this integrated approach to cycling that will surely help to develop attitudes towards sustainable transport in the future.