Key milestone in cycling revolution to switch ‘legions of Londoners’ onto bikes

Mayor of London Boris Johnson today launched the first two pilot Barclays Cycle Superhighway routes in London.

Both routes – the CS7 from Merton to the City, and CS3 from Barking to Tower Gateway – are about 12.5km long.

At the launch event at Clapham Common earlier today Boris ducked questions about his private life. He said he had cycled to the launch at "roughly the speed of a French onion seller”, adding that around Elephant and Castle he had overtaken a "young fit muscular chap" in a convertible Peugeot.

The London Mayor said, "I told him he should have been on a bike. Was it not a disgrace that on a beautiful morning like this he was stalled - a single man perfectly young and fit - in traffic travelling some trifling distance across London in a car.”

road.cc’s man in London TR was a marshal on a ride on route CS7 joined by Boris and around 30 people from London authorities, Barclays and other interested parties. He said, “Boris made a point about how the blue of the Superhighways had been carefully chosen so it wasn’t Barclay’s blue or Tory blue. Apparently it's the blue of freedom and the blue of a wonderful new cycling revolution.”

Around 5,000 cycle journeys are currently made every day on the two routes. Transport for London (TfL) aim to increase this to 27,000 cycle trips a day by 2013.

Ten more routes will eventually open, giving cyclists clearly marked, continuous and hopefully safer routes into central London. The Barclays Cycle Superhighways are a key part of the Mayor’s commitment to stimulate a cycling revolution in the Capital.

As well as installing highly visible blue cycle lanes along both pilot routes, at a minimum of 1.5m wide, other completed works on the routes include:

  • trialing 37 cycle safety (‘Trixi’) mirrors at junctions, giving  drivers of large vehicles better visibility of cyclists when preparing to turn left
  • introducing 84 new Advanced Stop Lines at least 5m deep at junctions along both routes, providing a space for cyclists to wait at lights ahead of the queue of traffic
  • installing new segregated cycle lanes at the Stockwell Gyratory on the Merton to the City route, and upgrading existing segregated lanes at the Elephant and Castle bypass and on Southwark Bridge, Cable Street and the A13
  • realigning traffic and bus lanes to create more space for cyclists on busy stretches of the Superhighways, for example on the southbound section of the A24 at the junction of Kennington Road and Brixton Road

As part of Barclays Cycle Superhighways, TfL is also providing funding for the eight London boroughs and local businesses along the pilot routes. The money will used to fund around 5,000 cycle parking spaces, over 17,000 hours of cycle training and more than 3,000 hours of cycle maintenance sessions. TfL has already installed 300 new cycle parking spaces along both pilot routes to cater for the anticipated increased demand from cyclists using the Barclays Cycle Superhighways.

Boris Johnson said, “You have got to have a powerful and visible statement on the roads that asserts to every Londoner, whether on two wheels or four, that the Capital is a cycling city. The road space is there for everyone and I am confident that our Superhighways will help switch legions of Londoners on to the pleasures of a pedal powered commute.

“Alongside Barclays Cycle Hire, these radial routes are set to transform our great city into one where cycling is the first choice for many thousands of Londoners. As well as being good for your health and wallet, encouraging more people to commute to work by bike will in turn help us improve air quality, cut carbon emissions and reduce congestion on the transport network.”

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said, “The Barclays Cycle Superhighways aim to offer a comprehensive package to improve the commute for those already cycling to work and encourage many thousands more to join them, with guided cycle rides and cycle training on offer for those wanting a little extra support.”

The two pilot routes will allow TfL to test all of the measures for their effectiveness, helping to determine the scope and detailed design of the remaining 10 routes, which will be up and running by the end of 2015.

Work is underway on the design of the next two routes, which will launch in summer 2011 and run from Bow to Aldgate, and Wandsworth to Westminster.

More information on the pilot routes is available on the Transport for London site.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 


handlebarcam [1093 posts] 7 years ago

I still don't understand why cycling has to be sponsored and other forms of transport not, especially as it is the cheapest to set up and run. Or is this a sign of what is to come? Maybe we'll soon have to start saying things like "I'm going to take HSBC Central Line", or "I'm running late because the McDonalds Route 9 is stuck in traffic." Is the contract with Barclays in perpetuity, or, when they've got all the goodwill they think they can get out of it, will all the bike lanes and all the hire bikes have to be rebranded to match the colour scheme of some other evil corporation?

TiNuts [98 posts] 7 years ago

I see that the white van behind Boris has its rear wheel inside the cycle lane. No surprises there then!

Neilr [1 post] 7 years ago

they didn't mention the invisible barriers that stop cars from driving in them...

Simon_MacMichael [2507 posts] 7 years ago
handlebarcam wrote:

I still don't understand why cycling has to be sponsored and other forms of transport not, especially as it is the cheapest to set up and run.

Take a train into Waterloo from the leafy suburbs of South West London, and every station seems to be sponsored by some firm or other of estate agents.

And once you've seen them, who can forget the platform signs in another, not so leafy part of South London proudly declaring, "East Croydon - Home of Nestlé U.K."

The Vélib’ scheme in Paris is actually operated by the advertising giant JCDecaux in exchange for free advertising sites throughout the city.

No such business model here, with the scheme being operated by Serco, but if the money is used properly (ie it benefits the hire scheme or superhighways directly), and we have another household brand besides Sky aligning itself with cycling, it can't be all bad...

Benskii [3 posts] 7 years ago

There's somthing very wrong with the image used in this article. Has anyone noticed the van driving directly over the bike lane? Not sure if anyone else has noticed, but crivers - in particular buses - choose to ignore bike lanes and I doubt the super highways will be any different (as demonstrated in the picture provided).

TRs Blurb n Blog [199 posts] 7 years ago

I must say that by and large, motor vehicles tend to keep out of the blue lane but where the 1.5m of blue track shares an already narrow carriageway that van would normally be driving near the kerb. I cycle this route everyday and without it being a segregated route, it has made that busy bit of road safer.

keith_newnham [73 posts] 7 years ago

They say that TFL are going to install 300 new cycle parking places. What about the thousands that they have removed and are removing across London deciding to remove half of the safety barriers at places where they've decided they're not needed for safety!! Most of the ones I've seen removed now pose serious health and safety risks to pedestrians, and also mean that cyclists are now having to cross half of Balham High Road and lock their bikes to central barriers instead!!!

skippy [416 posts] 7 years ago

At the Tour de Farce for 13th time, guest of some Danes overnight with french family connections which caused us to arrive at Luchon as the caravan started out so had to ride easier route through the valleys!

NOT MY FAULT as the french repeatedly say!

Along the way there were cycle lanes with 1 1\2m being 90% the norm, on an occasional bridge there was no lane but i was riding with traffic racing away from the depart and felt safe enough.

Boris if you cannot afford a helmet to set an example,

i will arrange a Sponsored Rudy Project Helmet!

Those anti helmet can pay extra taxes for brain damaged victims of falls or RTA !

New blog in works "TourdaFarce.blogspot.com" letters to Pres.Sarkozy and "El Pratface (c.prudhomme) will feature shortly

jova54 [681 posts] 7 years ago

Oh dear Skippy, shot yourself in the foot again.

I wasn't aware that it was necessary to wear a helmet when talking to the press, but maybe you'll make that compulsory too.

Check the other pictures, 2nd one will do, Boris on bike avec helmet.  4

Still, I suppose that even boring zealots make the occasional mistake.

cactuscat [284 posts] 7 years ago

Skippy: i'll pay the extra for 'all' those extra head injuries if you'll pay the extra for all those fat folks with heart disease when helmet compulsion slashes cycling numbers. Guess who'll be paying more?