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Cautious welcome for Mayor’s first draft of cycling map from campaigners

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has published a map of quiet backstreet cycle routes connecting all areas of inner London with a view to collecting feedback from the public.

“Cycle streets” closed to other traffic, new routes by parks and sixty miles of backstreet “Quietways” are part of the proposed Grid.

Many of the new Quietway routes will run parallel to Tube lines or bus routes, with a “Circle Line Quietway” and a “Victoria Line Quietway” among the routes published today.

A number of Superhighway and other main-road routes will also form part of the Grid, most fully or semi-separated from traffic (with solid kerbs or traffic wands) where they run on busy roads.

Mr Johnson has also promised intimidating and difficult junctions will be improved, and a study will be launched into traffic restrictions on one very busy main road corridor where there is no room for segregation and no Quietway alternative.

According to the London assembly: “The proposed Quietway routes are aimed at those who would like to cycle now, but are put off by having to do it on busy roads.

“The long-term purpose is to broaden the demographic mix, and change the culture, of London cycling.”

Mr Johnson said: “We are creating a new network of routes for a new kind of cyclist: routes for people who want to cycle slowly, in their ordinary clothes, away from most of the traffic. These are your secret cycling passages through London, taking you everywhere you need to go, directly and easily, using routes you might never know existed until we showed you.

“The Central London Grid will, I hope, de-Lycrafy the bicycle, reduce the testosterone levels of cycling, and move towards a continental-style cycling culture, where cycling is normal.”

The cycling commissioner for London, Andrew Gilligan, said: “This is a promising start, but it is a first draft and we are looking forward to the views and ideas of the cycling community, residents, local business and anyone with an interest. Further changes will then be made in discussions with our partners in the boroughs.”

The London Cycling Campaign has welcomed Mayor Boris Johnson's draft proposal for a Central London Grid, but has warned that to be effective the routes must provide safe and convenient passage through junctions, along with cycling conditions throughout that are suitable for all ages and abilities.

LCC Chief Executive Ashok Sinha said, "We strongly welcome the Mayor's assertion that increasing cycling in Zone One benefits all Londoners through reduced traffic congestion, reduced crowding on public transport, and less noise and pollution.

"We're delighted the Mayor's stated aim is that the Grid will be suitable for everyone to cycle, including more women and children, who are currently massively underrepresented among London's cycling population, often because of fears over safety.

"However, we emphasise that to be effective, the Grid must provide genuinely safe and convenient conditions throughout, particularly at junctions, with routes that have either protected lanes or low motor traffic volumes and speeds."

To download various maps of the cycle grid click here.

To comment on these proposals, contact your local authority or email TfL with any general comments by 14 February 2014 to grid [at] tfl.gov.uk

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

16 comments

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 2 years ago
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I wonder if this waste of tax payer's money called Boris Johnson is aware that there is already a network of quiet routes called the LONDON CYCLE NETWORK???? And that it has been in place for years???

Of course he's not aware.

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teaboy [311 posts] 2 years ago
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As with all infrastructure programmes the devil will be in the detail, which we don't have yet. I'm really on the fence at the moment - if done properly this could be awesome; if not then it'll be the same as it is now.

I urge all London riders to ride the grid routes as they are now, and send their views to TfL. What's good? What is frustrating? What's actually dangerous? What should be done to improve or change the proposed routes? Think about junction priority, light phasing, pinch points, road surfaces, integration, etc, as well as general convenience.

As a cycling community WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS WORK FOR CYCLING.

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 2 years ago
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Looking at the map, I realise I've been using a lot of those 'quiet ways' for cycle commuting for over 20 years.

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fatbeggaronabike [823 posts] 2 years ago
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Half of me is applauding this iniative whilst acknowledging the point made by London calling, as something/anything is better than nothing, the other half is screaming at the screen for these people missing the obvious. Better policing (and a more conspicuous presence) of OUR roads allowing all good drivers cyclists peds etc etc to SHARE the road would probably be far better and in the long run more cost effective, ie instead of painting lines on roads employ and train people (or increase the powers of hobby bobbies) to act as "road moniters" give them some powers to prosecute the wrong doers through the new traffic courts and the change (in attitude) to road use will come about

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kobacom [98 posts] 2 years ago
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Surely this is just displacement activity. Boris is under pressure to do something because of the recent spate of deaths on London's roads, so instead of real investment we get a map. The fact is that Boris has done bugger all for cycling in London, what schemes he has presided over have turned out to be bloody dangerous.

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KnightBiker [75 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm not a London resident so i couldn't tell if it would be effective, but the way it's proposed is humble and open to suggestions which sounds good.
In Amsterdam we had a website specifically targeted on removing road obstacles on cycling paths, unnecessary poles and speedbrakers tended to popup making cycling paths dangerous, on the website you could single them out and i even got reply's on my comments promising to do something about it or giving explanations on why it needed to be there.

Seeing this example it shows that this map need's to be put online with an interactive model, seeing the proposed solutions in a google streetview-like fashion and a way to collect user comments on specific sections.

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AlexStriplight [75 posts] 2 years ago
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'Quiet roads' - they have got to be kidding. Rat runs more like. As should be clear by now, Boris lacks the political will to provide proper infrastructure for cyclists. This is yet more obfuscation on his part.

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deblemund [263 posts] 2 years ago
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Thing is, this is the sort of network I already use. What happens? I get black cabs, white vans and Sunday shoppers blasting their horns, trying to intimidate me and trying to crush me at every pinch point. It is a LONG way from fietstraats.. Just a cheap way to avoid doing anything that requires any real thought.

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deblemund [263 posts] 2 years ago
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Me too. Feel safe on them? Me neither.

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deblemund [263 posts] 2 years ago
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They don't work though. They're rat runs full of pinch points and parked cars. I've given up using the one near Hurlingham Gardens having nearly been hit by 2 cars are successive "traffic calmed" points. I will now take my chances on the Embankment, where at least the cars are gridlocked.

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deblemund [263 posts] 2 years ago
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Oooh. Sorry all. I clicked 'reply' instead of 'quote'. Anyway, you get the picture  35

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teaboy [311 posts] 2 years ago
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deblemund wrote:

They don't work though. They're rat runs full of pinch points and parked cars. I've given up using the one near Hurlingham Gardens having nearly been hit by 2 cars are successive "traffic calmed" points. I will now take my chances on the Embankment, where at least the cars are gridlocked.

At the moment that may be the case, but it's like saying segregated cycle lanes don't work because the ones we have are crap shared paths where you have to give way all the time.

The detail is so important here - there are plenty of ways these roads can be made safer:
- Remove the rat-runs by stopping through traffic with bollards
- Remove pinch-points altogether where motor vehicles share the road with cyclists (changing pedestrian crossings where necessary)
- Segregated lanes where possible - many of the roads are easily wide enough without disrupting anything.
- Separate light phases for cyclists, and a reduced number of reds.
- Integration with the rest of the traffic network (clear signs for everyone to see)

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mrmo [2088 posts] 2 years ago
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teaboy wrote:

The detail is so important here - there are plenty of ways these roads can be made safer:
...

The most important word, CAN. yes they can be made safer, the super highways can be made safer as well.

Real question WILL they be made safer?

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teaboy [311 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
teaboy wrote:

The detail is so important here - there are plenty of ways these roads can be made safer:
...

The most important word, CAN. yes they can be made safer, the super highways can be made safer as well.

Real question WILL they be made safer?

We don't know yet. The super highways are having improvements made to them - some of this is great, some could and should be better, but I feel the principle of cycling safety is on the books now. Action is another thing altogether though, and that's almost out of our hands. All we can do is contact TfL regarding the routes set out and comment on them. Everyone should do this. Explain your concerns to those who can affect change. Don't give them the SMIDSY excuse.

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deblemund [263 posts] 2 years ago
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Well, let's hope. The Hurlingham rat ru... sorry, London Cycleway already in place has speed cushions in the MIDDLE of the pinch points, so that it is quite difficult to ride in primary, hence motorists take the chance to try and share a 7" gate with their 6'6" car and my 2' waist. And no, losing weight still won't mean there's room for us both!

teaboy wrote:
deblemund wrote:

They don't work though. They're rat runs full of pinch points and parked cars. I've given up using the one near Hurlingham Gardens having nearly been hit by 2 cars are successive "traffic calmed" points. I will now take my chances on the Embankment, where at least the cars are gridlocked.

At the moment that may be the case, but it's like saying segregated cycle lanes don't work because the ones we have are crap shared paths where you have to give way all the time.

The detail is so important here - there are plenty of ways these roads can be made safer:
- Remove the rat-runs by stopping through traffic with bollards
- Remove pinch-points altogether where motor vehicles share the road with cyclists (changing pedestrian crossings where necessary)
- Segregated lanes where possible - many of the roads are easily wide enough without disrupting anything.
- Separate light phases for cyclists, and a reduced number of reds.
- Integration with the rest of the traffic network (clear signs for everyone to see)

Avatar
HarrogateSpa [382 posts] 2 years ago
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The sentiment is right - make cycling safe enough for all sorts of people, including women and children. It's a shame Johnson has to express it in such a stupid fashion - de-lycrafy, just ridiculous. People can wear what they want.

Also, don't tell people what speed to cycle at, that's not the London Mayor's business.

Why does every statement on cycling from the Mayor have to be made in stupid and offensive language?