City of London criticises Mayor's Quietways for directing cyclists into historic streets full of pedestrians

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The City of London Corporation has expressed concern at the Mayor of London’s plan for a network of cycle Quietways around the centre of the capital, saying they could put cyclists in direct conflict with pedestrians.

60 miles of Quietways, made up of quiet backstreet cycle routes connecting all areas of inner London, are currently under consultation and will be named or numbered on a map intended for cyclists who are not in a hurry and want to avoid main roads.

TfL says these are “the new kind of cyclist we want to attract”.

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 last year.

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.

Iain Simmons, the City of London’s assistant director for city transportation, told TransportXtra the proposed Quietway routes in the City were “the best that meet the technical criteria for Quietways, being the least trafficked” and had been agreed by officers at a meeting with TfL in December.

He added: “The streets with the lowest volumes of motor traffic tend to be more historic, less direct, and generally narrower. This has the impact of directing cyclists into areas that are often full with pedestrians.”

As we reported late last year, 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.”