Earlier this year Transport for London promised "fast and substantially segregated cycle superhighways providing north-south and east-west routes through central London". Plans for those routes are now ready and will be opened for public consultation tomorrow.
Among the many criticisms of London's cycle superhighways, even the more successful routes such as CS3 dump you on the outskirts of central London with no guidance or protection if you want to get deeper into the city or across the other side.
In response to that criticism, London mayor Boris Johnson last year announced that new superhighways would be built that crossed London from east to west and north to south.
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.
The proposed superhighway at Blackfriars
Details of the latter route will be announced tomorrow, but it seems likely it will use some of the existing segregated cycle superhighway 3 from east London to Tower Gateway. That route simply stops at the end of Royal Mint Street with no indication as to how cyclists are supposed to negotiate the tangle of junctions around Tower Hill.
Transport for London has produced artist's impressions of a cycle superhighway along Victoria Embankment. Cycle campaigners will be watching closely to see how well — or badly — Transport for London rises to the challenge of connecting up a useful, safe cycling network.
When the new superhighways were originally announced, Mark Treasure, chair of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, said: “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.”
Public consultation opens tomorrow on the new routes via Transport for London's public consultation hub.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.