Boris Johnson announces Cycle Superhighway improvements as he opens new section of CS2

Over 100 new staff for TfL cycling division, new North-South 'CrossRail for bikes'

by John Stevenson   November 6, 2013  

Cycle Superhighways plans - CS2 cycle junction

Mayor of London Boris Johnson today announced plans to spend £35 million on improved and new cycling facilities in London. Alongside the Mayor’s announcement, Transport for London said it plans to recruit over 100 designers, engineers and traffic modellers to help deliver the new cycling infrastructure.

Opening the new Bow roundabout to Stratford section of the notorious Cycle Superhighway 2, the mayor committed to a major upgrade of existing Cycle Superhighways – including the section of Cycle Superhighway 2 where Philippine de Gerin-Ricard was killed by a truck in July.

He also announced a new “substantially-segregated cycle superhighway through the heart of central London – adding a north-south segregated route to our already-announced east-west route.”

The mayor described the new section of Cycle Superhighway 2 as “first physical fruit of my promise to improve the experience of cycling in London”.

The two-mile stretch of cycle path is almost entirely separated from the adjacent A11 and has bus stop bypasses so that cyclists are not forced out into  traffic to pass a bus.

The new section of Cycle Superhighway 2 was in use yesterday, and cyclists were quick to take to Twitter to point out that lack of a drain in one section had allowed it to fill to the kerb with rainwater.

The mayor’s office is billing this as the first fully-segregated section of cycle superhighway, perhaps forgetting that the Cable Street section of Cycle Superhighway 3 also has long stretches that are separated from motor vehicles by kerbs.

The inner section of Cycle Superhighway 2 from Aldgate to Bow, will be the first existing Superhighway to be upgraded. Work to design the upgrade has been underway since the publication of the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling in March.


Cycle Superhighways plans - CS2 cycle junction.jpeg

A fully segregated path with cycle-separated junctions will be installed on Whitechapel High Street, including the section where Philippine de Gerin-Ricard was killed in July. Full or semi segregation and cycle-separated junctions will be installed on the rest of the route, subject to further investigation by TfL.

Johnson sees separated junctions as vital to the safety of cyclists. "The big issue overall in London is the interaction between cyclists and large vehicles turning left," he said.

The Aldgate gyratory will be made two-way so that cyclists no longer have to cross multiple lanes of fast-moving traffic to negotiate it.

The new substantially-segregated north-south route will run from Elephant and Castle to King’s Cross via Blackfriars Road and Blackfriars Bridge. It is planned to use a combination of full segregation and lower-traffic streets. It will connect at Blackfriars, where the junction will be remodelled, with the new substantially-segregated east-west superhighway from Barking to West London.

At the launch, Boris Johnson said he would "take account of any comments and criticisms".

He told the Guardian's Peter Walker: "Those are interesting things the coroner said. The question is, what do we do about the blue strips? Do we need to radically review all those? I think the evidence is mixed, and what we're going to do is look at the unbounded blue strips and see if they need adjusting. I'm not saying necessarily that we're going to remove them, but we're going to see what improvements can be made to them."

While he said that he doesn't think fully-segregated cycling routes are possible in London because of the competition for road space, Johnson said: "It is clear that where we can go for good segregated schemes we should."


The proposed cycle superhighway on Victoria Embankment

Reactions

Cycling organisations gave a cautious welcome to the plans.

Mark Treasure, chair of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, said: “It is encouraging to see that TfL are recognising past mistakes, even if it is taking death and serious injury for them to do so. Superhighway 2 in particular is demonstrably lethal, and unattractive to would-be cyclists. Lessons are being learned in the worst way possible.

“Today’s announcements suggest that TfL are now starting to adopt proven solutions from the continent, that make cycling both safe and attractive. However, it is essential that designs really are up to scratch, and don’t just give up when the going gets tough, particularly at major junctions. That means that motor traffic capacity can and should be sacrificed, where necessary.

“Most importantly, we need to start seeing action on the ground, not just with the proposed upgrading of the entire Superhighway 2 route and the newly-announced north-south segregated Superhighway, but with a joined-up network across the city - not just single isolated routes that don’t connect with anything else.”

Sustrans’ London Director, German Dector-Vega, said:”On the back of another cycling death on the streets of London, this significant investment aimed at improving safety is much needed in response to the grave concerns of cyclists and other road users.’

“The 128 new posts in the cycling unit at TfL show that making it safe and convenient to travel by bike is becoming a real priority, as our leaders recognise the many economic, environmental and health benefits.’

“But while the cycle superhighways are great for some confident cyclists, they’re not for everyone - we also need 20mph speed limits across London for those less confident on two wheels.”

21 user comments

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I do love these halcyon views of London! Blue skies, almost empty streets, just a few cyclists enjoying the bucolic delights of a gentle amble into town.
The reality, overlaid on top would paint a different picture... 400 cyclists an hour using some parts of the existing infrastructure. Nose to tail jams of cars extending hundreds of metres...

posted by alexb [35 posts]
6th November 2013 - 18:42

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Good. I'm sure they'll be a lot of people criticising these schemes - and I'm sure a lot of those criticisms will be well founded. But don't forget, he could've done nothing. He could have shirked all responsibility for the safety of cyclists on London's roads, as so many other authorities do.

Are you givng him an incentive to do so?

posted by nuclear coffee [93 posts]
6th November 2013 - 18:48

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Halcyon! that what it would look like if a genetically modified virus was unleashed on London and you woke up 24 hours later.

posted by musicalmarc [49 posts]
6th November 2013 - 20:02

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Quote:
"128 new posts in the cycling unit at TfL"

Road.cc, can you snoop and/or tell us what are/will these people be doing? And how many existing posts are there?

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

sm's picture

posted by sm [329 posts]
6th November 2013 - 20:08

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sm wrote:
Quote:
"128 new posts in the cycling unit at TfL"

Road.cc, can you snoop and/or tell us what are/will these people be doing? And how many existing posts are there?

And any information on how to apply for those posts will be very handy...!

"Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints".

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posted by LondonCalling [146 posts]
6th November 2013 - 20:36

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LondonCalling wrote:
And any information on how to apply for those posts will be very handy...!

I'd keep an eye out here:

https://tfl.taleo.net/careersection/external/joblist.ftl

John Stevenson's picture

posted by John Stevenson [827 posts]
6th November 2013 - 20:51

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I can't help but think that spending £35 million on cycling infrastucture is against the ethos of cycling being a cheap, green and low impact form of transport. Also the quote " 128 new post in the cycling unit at TfL", where is that money coming from for more government? What we need is less.

posted by peterben [22 posts]
6th November 2013 - 21:36

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seems they (TFL) have finally woken up to the potential death-trap that is London town for cyclists

typical British attitude of 'wait till they start dying, and then do something about the problem...' seen this many times on the railways, the roads, the airplanes.

IF we are to start fixing the transport problems of this small island, safe bicycle routes for all, is a very fundamental need. Even for experienced cyclists with years of road riding, the roads are not safe.

Safe routes immediately pays huge dividends in terms of reduced pollution and energy emissions, increased physical health of population, social cohesion, economic benefits, etc.

otherwise its just miles of miserable and ill people stuck in traffic jams in their 4-wheeled metal boxes.

posted by hampstead_bandit [96 posts]
6th November 2013 - 22:05

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Is it this one?

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/cs2extension

Just for accuracy it's 1.2 miles long not 2 miles. TfL say 3km of new cycle lanes, including 2.4km segregated cycle lane along Stratford High Street but this is counting in both directions.

Very happy to see them doing this, can't wait to go and cycle along it, also to see the cycle lanes passing behind bus stops. I was a guinea pig at TRL trialling these.

posted by horizontal dropout [138 posts]
6th November 2013 - 22:56

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peterben wrote:
I can't help but think that spending £35 million on cycling infrastucture is against the ethos of cycling being a cheap, green and low impact form of transport. Also the quote " 128 new post in the cycling unit at TfL", where is that money coming from for more government? What we need is less.

No, it's a spit in the ocean compared to what's required to accommodate the expected increase in population and consequent transport infrastructure requirements.

http://centreforlondon.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/CFL-Transport-chal...

posted by racyrich [81 posts]
6th November 2013 - 23:03

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@peterben - £35m is about the cost of a large-ish roundabout, this is peanuts in our roads infrastructure budget. Yeah, it's cheap.

You mean we need less of safe transport for cyclists, pedestrians...?

posted by jacknorell [167 posts]
6th November 2013 - 23:14

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hampstead_bandit wrote:
seems they (TFL) have finally woken up to the potential death-trap that is London town for cyclists

typical British attitude of 'wait till they start dying, and then do something about the problem...' seen this many times on the railways, the roads, the airplanes.

IF we are to start fixing the transport problems of this small island, safe bicycle routes for all, is a very fundamental need. Even for experienced cyclists with years of road riding, the roads are not safe.

Safe routes immediately pays huge dividends in terms of reduced pollution and energy emissions, increased physical health of population, social cohesion, economic benefits, etc.

otherwise its just miles of miserable and ill people stuck in traffic jams in their 4-wheeled metal boxes.

They haven't, they do not a clue what to do and are just trotting out any old rubbish because they are don't give a toss.

Are people really this stupid to believe any of this will EVER happen? Have you all forgotten they've been told the funding for this was cut 100% and cycling investment now stands at £0m

How many more times are people going to fall for this rubbish? many it seems, wake up.

posted by northstar [936 posts]
7th November 2013 - 0:39

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Some good stuff in this, but it has to be implimented properly.

the Emabnkment in particular has so much wasted space that could make a useful segregated cycle lane.

I hope the new 128 posts at TfL are actually taken by people who cycle (I know they had people in the cycling division who didn't previously).

BTW The second picture is the proposed design for Blackfriars Road not CS2.

posted by thereverent [284 posts]
7th November 2013 - 11:50

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I'd love to know where the cash is coming from, the rest of the UK are skint yet Boris has unlimited coffers to buy cyclist votes.

posted by Leodis [119 posts]
7th November 2013 - 12:04

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On the face of it this is good news. So let's give them a fair crack of the whip to make a good job of executing the plan.

I can't help thinking though, that after a few months of roadworks to build the changes, it will be less than a month until the first accident caused by some lunatic van driver / taxi driver / tipper whose statement will contain the phrase "why weren't they in the cycle lane".

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [642 posts]
7th November 2013 - 12:30

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So the new policy is wait until a sufficient number of people die on a stretch of road, and then provide better facilities? Sensible policies for a happier Britain.

posted by Bikebikebike [54 posts]
7th November 2013 - 13:50

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Saw Boris cycling down the CS2 extension on the news last night. I thought the old CS2 was okay but this new section looks much better.

posted by nod [60 posts]
7th November 2013 - 14:09

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alexb wrote:
I do love these halcyon views of London! Blue skies, almost empty streets, just a few cyclists enjoying the bucolic delights of a gentle amble into town.

That's almost just how it was during the Olympics last year..

posted by congokid [81 posts]
7th November 2013 - 16:34

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nod wrote:
I thought the old CS2 was okay

You and I have vastly different definitions of "OK" then

posted by VeloPeo [182 posts]
7th November 2013 - 18:04

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I can't help but think that spending £35 million on cycling infrastucture is against the ethos of cycling being a cheap, green and low impact form of transport. Also the quote " 128 new post in the cycling unit at TfL", where is that money coming from for more government? What we need is less.

Yes, cycling is cheap and green and low impact, so we should encourage much more of it. To encourage cycling among the masses, we need to redesign our streets so they're safe and attractive to cycling. That's what they're spending the money on.

Phew! Is it really that difficult to understand?

We're talking £0.035 billion here. Compare that with the £28 billion Coalition road programme being rolled out...

posted by fluffy_mike [71 posts]
7th November 2013 - 21:46

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Quote:
Transport for London said it plans to recruit over 100 designers, engineers and traffic modellers to help deliver the new cycling infrastructure..

Yeah, they've done a great job so far with all the amazing cycle paths in London.
You could always ask regular cyclists for their opinions for free and then spend the money on actual useful infrastructure, but perhaps that's too easy....

posted by monkimark [12 posts]
8th November 2013 - 23:48

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