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Dismissed as 'potty' by Canal and River Trust...

A firm of architects has come up with a solution to cyclist congestion on London's Regent's Canal - with a raised cycle path on struts above the canal itself.

In a nod to New York's Highline, the drawings plot an elevated route from Angel, Islington to Victoria Park.

Antony Nelson, of landscape architecture firm Design International, told the East London Advertiser: “We were looking for an interesting aspirational project to work on to do with transport and cycling.

“I always notice the towpath is really congested with cyclists and pedestrians and it’s not really fit for purpose, and there are constant clashes between pedestrians and cyclists.”

But the Canal and River Trust who manage the waterway were not so impressed.

A spokesman said: said: “We love innovation, but this is just plain potty!

“Many boaters cruise the Regent’s Canal and this design would plunge them into darkness, as well as calling for some pretty perilous navigation.”

And even cyclists couldn't be persuaded. Gerry Matthews of Tower Hamlets Wheelers cycling group said: “We welcome sympathetic improvements to the towpath in places, but the canal should preserve its character and remain a tranquil zone."

Recently we reported how cyclists have been asked not to use towpaths along the Regents Canal to commute to work as it’s not deemed the right environment to cycle at speed.

The Canal and River Trust says that up to 500 cyclists an hour are commuting on the tow path every day, but other users, like pedestrians and dog walkers, had to share the space and now they are looking to create safe on road routes as diversions for fast riding peak time cyclists.

The trust said the main hotspots for commuter cyclists were westbound routes along the City Road basin in Islington and at Victoria Park during the morning rush hour.

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.