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TfL & Mayor aim to create cycling super suburbs

Transport for London has announced the shortlist of eight outer London boroughs in the running for a share of £100 million in funding intended to raise the standard of cycling provision in the winning areas to Dutch standards.

The three or four winners, to be announced early next year, will benefit from very high levels of spending concentrated on relatively small areas to make them, over time, into places every bit as cycle-friendly as their Dutch equivalents, says TfL. The £100 million will be shared between them, though not necessarily equally.

The shortlisted boroughs are Bexley, Ealing, Enfield, Kingston, Merton and Newham. Richmond and Waltham Forest are also shortlisted subject to addressing certain gaps in their initial proposals.

The submission proposals include plans to scrap gyratories and reunite suburbs split asunder by major roads.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Bexley – Creating radical new junction solutions for cyclists in key locations and rolling out an extensive segregated and semi-segregated cycling network.
  • Ealing – A cycle-friendly redesign of Ealing town centre and a special cycling "quietway" between Ealing and Southall.
  • Enfield – Introducing a Dutch style roundabout, with protected cycle lanes, in Edmonton Green, segregated routes along main roads and a "Cycle Superhub" in Enfield town centre.
  • Kingston – a New York "High Line" style public space, for pedestrians and cyclists, along the railway line and across the Thames, a new network of routes, a cycle boardwalk on the banks of the river and cars removed from part of central Kingston.
  • Merton – Redesigning Wimbledon town centre on Dutch principles and building a cycle hub at the Centre Court shopping centre.
  • Newham – A complete redesign of Stratford town centre, removing the gyratory; new off-road Superhighway routes.
  • Richmond – New cycleways on unused land alongside railway lines.
  • Waltham Forest – A new cycle superhighway on Lea Bridge Road and a Dutch-style roundabout at Whipps Cross.

TfL and the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner for London, Andrew Gilligan, will now work with the shortlisted boroughs to draw up more detailed final submissions.

Andrew Gilligan said: "Councils across outer London have stepped up to the plate and we are thrilled with how many want to redesign their town centres around cycling. There is enough money available to deliver dramatic change in the chosen boroughs, and make them places that suburbs and towns all over Britain will want to copy."

According to TFL, half of all cycleable trips in London are in the outer suburbs. The vast majority of trips in the suburbs are less than two miles, around ten minutes by bike, but are currently mostly made by car.

The aim of this program will be to create ‘mini-Hollands’ in the winning suburbs. Each outer London borough was invited to submit proposals for:

  • A substantial redesign of the main town centre to make it genuinely excellent for cyclists.
  • Redesigns of some of the secondary town centres.
  • Addressing severance, where this is a problem: new cycle and pedestrian crossings of major roads, railway lines or waterways.
  • A network of good cycle routes radiating out from the main town centre, and secondary centres, to other parts of the borough, paralleling all the main local travel routes. Redesigns of problem junctions where they are used by cyclists.
  • At least one good commuter route from the borough to central London.
  • Cycle superhubs at local railway stations.

During September, Andrew Gilligan and TfL officials will visit the shortlisted boroughs. An announcement of the winners is expected in early 2014.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.