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Work to start in next three months on both Cycle Superhighways running through centre of capital

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has given the green light to the planned ‘Crossrail for the Bike’ segregated cycle routes running across Central London. The go-ahead for the east-west and north-south routes follows what he says is one of the largest consultations ever carried out in London.

The project, as well as a planned upgrade to Cycle Superhighway CS, is due to be formally approved by the board of Transport for London (TfL) next week, reports the London Evening Standard.

Work will start on the £17 million north-south route from King’s Cross to Elephant & Castle in early March, and on the longer £41 million east-west route from Tower Hill to the Westway in April, with the latter opening 12 months later.

The plans for the two routes had been opposed by Canary Wharf Group and the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry, both of which maintained that installing the east-west route would cause delays to traffic.

The City of London Corporation also raised concerns about pedestrians not being able to cross the road safely at certain locations.

However, there was huge support for the routes by major public and private sector employers across the capital, and 84 per cent of the 21,500 responses to the consultation were in favour of the two new Cycle Superhighways.

Projections by TfL suggested the worst case traffic delay on the east-west route would be 16 minutes for drivers travelling from Limehouse Link to Hyde Park Corner.

That has now been now cut to six minutes after some alterations to the route at three pinch points, with the width of the “both ways” cycle lane reduced from 4 metres to 3 metres at Tower Hill, Temple and the Blackfriars Underpass.

“We have done one of the biggest consultation exercises in TfL’s history,” Mr Johnson said. “We have listened, and now we will act. Overwhelmingly, Londoners wanted these routes, and wanted them delivered to the high standard we promised. I intend to keep that promise.

“But I have also listened to those concerned about the east-west route’s impact on traffic," he continued. "Thanks to the skill of TfL’s engineers and traffic managers, we have made changes to our original plans which keep the whole of the segregated cycle track and junctions, while taking out much less of the route’s motor traffic capacity – and so causing much shorter delays.”

The mayor added: “I now look forward to the transformation that these routes will bring – not just for people who cycle now, but for the thousands of new cyclists they will attract.

“Getting more people on their bikes will reduce pressure on the road, bus and rail networks, cut pollution, and improve life for everyone, whether or not they cycle themselves.”

British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman applauded Mr Johnson for his "courage" in rejecting the arguments put forward by oppponents of the scheme.

The former world and Olympic champion said: "Despite the short-sighted, even selfish, views of a tiny but powerful minority, Boris Johnson has continued in his quest to change London into a better place for people to live and work.

“His courage to push for culture change in our capital has kept the cause visible for the whole country and has won the support of Londoners who clearly want to transform the way they travel. His efforts should be both recognised and applauded. I would like to see this innovative thinking on cycling happening in other major cities across Britain.”

Matt Winfield, deputy director for Sustrans in London, said: “We look forward to seeing the roads starting to reflect the way Londoners travel, and want to travel in the future.

“Considering the amount of people these cycleways can move at once it’s a bit of a transport bargain, and will offer wider benefits in reduced pressure on public transport and create fitter and healthier Londoners."

“The new ‘crossrail for bikes’ will complement the ambitious Quietways programme as London seeks to becomes an increasingly cycle friendly city," he added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

26 comments

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bikebot [2118 posts] 2 years ago
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We won.

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gwildar [17 posts] 2 years ago
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Judicial review in 1...2...3...Hello LTDA!!! That didn't take long.  14https://twitter.com/bbctomedwards/status/560050803915112448

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GREGJONES [298 posts] 2 years ago
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We didn't win so much as everyone won.

I can't wait to see how other cities now reply to this sort of thing

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ibike [166 posts] 2 years ago
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Excellent news. A small but significant step towards making London a more civilised city.

Can't wait to ride the routes!

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belgravedave [274 posts] 2 years ago
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Think of how many dangerous junctions could be fixed with some of that money and the rest spent on policing the infrastructure we have. This should be about reducing cyclists dying in London not vanity projects.

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bikebot [2118 posts] 2 years ago
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The LTDA have been threatening judicial review for months, and this isn't the only transport scheme where that's the case. They'll apply for a review, it'll probably get kicked out there and then, their lawyer will book himself a nice cruise. And they'll have burnt another bridge between themselves and TfL.

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georgee [183 posts] 2 years ago
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So what has happened about the detour around the royal parks as plebs on bikes arn't allowed?

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ribena [187 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

Think of how many dangerous junctions could be fixed with some of that money and the rest spent on policing the infrastructure we have. This should be about reducing cyclists dying in London not vanity projects.

The other junctions ARE being fixed. They've issued lots of consultations (as they did for this one).

Have a look here and send them your opinions.
https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/consultation_finder?search_keys%3Alist=...

Elephant & castle
https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/elephant-and-castle

Vauxhall
https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/vauxhall-cross

etc..

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P3t3 [422 posts] 2 years ago
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Its good, but this is a tiny step.

And hopefully it didn't get watered down too much, 3m is a bit narrow for a 2 way with this level of traffic projected!

belgravedave wrote:

Think of how many dangerous junctions could be fixed with some of that money and the rest spent on policing the infrastructure we have. This should be about reducing cyclists dying in London not vanity projects.

I agree they make a lot more area safer if they fixed the junctions. Bring in the all directions green junctions etc.

But in fairness to the scheme it is going in on the routes with very high bike traffic. They have weighted the model towards a positive outcome. They really need this to be successful (in terms of traffic carried) to make the case for the next one.

I wouldn't be surprised if motor vehicle journeys actually got quicker on these routes in the fullness of time...

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bdsl [201 posts] 2 years ago
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3m is a bit narrow for a 2 way with this level of traffic projected!

I agree 3m is narrow if it's for any significant length, but I'm hoping it might be ok if it's just for short sections at the three pinch points. Faster riders may need to overtake before those points or wait behind until slower riders are through them.

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ChairRDRF [367 posts] 2 years ago
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Mayor Johnson: “But I have also listened to those concerned about the east-west route’s impact on traffic...".

I think you mean motor traffic, old bean. Not pedestrian or cycle traffic.

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Si Mo [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Such a good move. The long-term benefits for London and Londoners are compelling. An immediate benefit will be to not have to sidle past cars in the regular jams along the Embankment, making road travel less hazardous for everyone, and being able to skip the Blackfriars tunnel.

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legendary27 [14 posts] 2 years ago
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As a matter of interest, how long will each of these segregated routes be ? I am afraid that my geographical knowledge of London leaves a lot to be desired.

Regards,
Gordon

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philbo [20 posts] 2 years ago
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Well done Boris and well done Tfl. 100s of people have spent 1000s of hours to get this project off the ground. The blood, sweat and tears has been worthwhile.
What's more Boris has stood up to the might of the city of London and Canary Wharf and pushed this project through.
Boris for PM.

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bdsl [201 posts] 2 years ago
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Gordon: The route that has been given the go ahead is Tower Hill to the Westway Flyover at Paddington, via Victoria Embankment. Google maps currently shows a 6 mile cycle route for that journey.

There is a plan to later extend this at both ends into a Barking — Acton 18 mile route.

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Bikebikebike [365 posts] 2 years ago
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Too long in the tooth to get too excited before actually seeing what appears.

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Housecathst [620 posts] 2 years ago
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So the "largest consultations ever carried out in London." Was required "just" to build a bloody cycle lane. How many billion apon billions was spend on cross rail.

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bdsl [201 posts] 2 years ago
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The details are now available at https://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/board-papers . Click '04 Feburary' and look at items 6 and 7.

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horizontal dropout [299 posts] 2 years ago
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"Boris for PM."

No! Boris for carrying on being Boris. Chris Boardman for PM!

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bdsl [201 posts] 2 years ago
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georgee - Royal Parks are shown on page 22 at https://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/board-20150204-part-1-it... . Looks like they still don't know what they will do in St James's Park, they will convert the horse track to a cycle track in Green park, and use the existing roads in Hyde Park with a "detailed design in progress".

Hopefully the Royal Parks will feel that with so many cyclists trying to get from one corner of St James's to the other they will be have to make some sort of provision.

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Quince [381 posts] 2 years ago
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Si Mo wrote:

Such a good move. The long-term benefits for London and Londoners are compelling. An immediate benefit will be to not have to sidle past cars in the regular jams along the Embankment, making road travel less hazardous for everyone, and being able to skip the Blackfriars tunnel.

It should make getting about in that area a whole lot more civilised and pleasant, and - I think - possibly even a fair bit faster.

While I'm massively in favour of high-quality, well thought out, segregated urban cycle-networks, I understand there are also people who prefer being part of the existing road network, and not slowed down by other, less speedy cyclists.

However, from my experience on this road, most of it tends to be stuck in motor traffic, and motor traffic (compared to cycle or pedestrian traffic) is really, REALLY long. Especially on that strip which is full of coaches, both used and empty. If 20 vehicles are travelling down the Embankment (say, 5 of which are coaches), then something as trivial as a red-light instantly creates a tail-back stretching back hundreds of metres. The applying the same red light to a bunch of cyclists would create a much smaller disturbance, due to their size and the fact that bicycles tessellate a lot better.

So while I feel I can GO fast on stretches of road in central London, I don't really feel that I can get anywhere quickly (unless I'm really aggressive with filtering, which I don't enjoy).

I'll happily give up any impressive looking inner-city top-speeds just to arrive at places earlier, calmer, less sweaty, and generally less full of whatever chemicals I end up pumped with after a pedal in the capital.

I'll take the countryside to discover the pure freedom and exhilaration the bicycle can bring. In the city I just want to get from A to B in a civilised and efficient manner.

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Al__S [1278 posts] 2 years ago
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8 people that responded to the N-S consultation have a "Preference for integrating rather than separating road traffic". Out of 11998 responses (including the LCC template responses). Now, it's not as if the "vehicular cycling" tendency were unaware of this consultation for the biggest example of what they oppose. So is 8 out of 11998 representative? I mean, if they're that opposed surely they were rousing their rabble to get responses in? Can we finally stop ever listening to this tiny minority of idiots?

(the e-w consultation response doesn't give such a detailed breakdown. it's striking how different the two documents are)

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bikebot [2118 posts] 2 years ago
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Al__S wrote:

8 people that responded to the N-S consultation have a "Preference for integrating rather than separating road traffic". Out of 11998 responses (including the LCC template responses). Now, it's not as if the "vehicular cycling" tendency were unaware of this consultation for the biggest example of what they oppose. So is 8 out of 11998 representative? I mean, if they're that opposed surely they were rousing their rabble to get responses in? Can we finally stop ever listening to this tiny minority of idiots?

(the e-w consultation response doesn't give such a detailed breakdown. it's striking how different the two documents are)

Little chance of that, they're morphing into the shared space movement.

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pmanc [210 posts] 2 years ago
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Bikebikebike wrote:

Too long in the tooth to get too excited before actually seeing what appears.

This.

I'll wait until the kerbs have been laid, the junctions upgraded, and people are cycling along it, pleased with the finished article before I crack open the bubbly. Too many times it's all disappeared, got watered down, or ended up as something worse than the current mess.

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RLYacht [2 posts] 2 years ago
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Two cycle paths, that's cute!

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WashoutWheeler [84 posts] 2 years ago
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Had some of my worst verbal abuse and examples of people using their vehicles to intimidate me as a cyclist from Black Cab drivers! I hope the LTDA get told to sit on it and swivel.