If you commute into central London and you love to ride a bike, you could do a lot worse than check out some of the hundreds of new homes that will benefit from segregated arteries into town thanks to two new cycling superhighways.
Due to be completed in mid-2016, the new east-west and north-south routes will be mostly separated from traffic and aim to make cyclists of all abilities feel much safer.
The 18-mile east-west superhighway will stretch from Barking to Acton, taking in and redeveloping some of the capital’s most dangerous junctions, while intimidating streets like Victoria Embankment, Parliament Square and the Westway flyover will be made into cycling safe havens.
Cyclists already make up 170,000 of London’s daily journeys and with those numbers set to grow it’s a developer’s dream to have easy access to the routes.
Transport for London and local councils are working together to build developments that encourage their residents to cycle rather than drive - here are just a few of the proposed building projects as highlighted by the Evening Standard:
Elephant Park in Elephant & Castle will have 2.500 homes - all with direct access to Kings Cross via central London. Each home has a secure cycle parking space and the buildings will be interconnected with attractive green cycle routes. For visitors and occasional cyclists, 90 Boris bikes will also be on site.
Two Fifty One Southwark Bridge Road, in Borough will have a cyclist’s lounge, no less, along with a gym for fair weather riders.
The Filaments in Wandsworth town centre has a direct superhighway to Westminster, along with a weekend cycling club for residents.
One Blackfriars will have 300 basement cycle spaces plus cycle stands at ground level, but with prices starting at a cool £1.2 million for a one-bedroom apartment they won’t be for everybody.
And as we reported last week, a flagship new apartment block in London is to feature record amounts of cycle parking - amounting to one cycle space per bedroom - thanks to its bike-loving architect Norman Foster.
250 City Road, a new skyscraper in Islington, London, has been designed by Foster + Partners - a twin-towered “high-density, low-energy residential development” of around 900 luxury apartments, costing £840,000 for a one-bedroom flat, that will feature 1,500 cycle parking spaces - around enough for one per bedroom - but only 200 car parking spots.
Nick Curtis told the Evening Standard: “These new routes will open up the city and encourage even occasional cyclists — or those fearful of traffic or daunted by distance — to realise the pleasure of travelling the capital by bike. As a middle-aged, slow pedaller who resumed biking in my forties, I have still found two wheels the quickest way to get across town, even when I was regularly cycling from my office in Kensington to the Olympic Park in 2012.
“That journey and others on my daily commute involve braving notorious intersections — the Bow Roundabout and Vauxhall gyratory that have claimed cyclists’ lives — which will now be made much safer by the segregated cycle paths in the Mayor’s current and future proposals. The new routes will eventually make those from Barking and Acton, and hopefully beyond, realise how reachable the city centre can be by bike.
“Then there are the other benefits: it’s healthier, greener, and generally better for the blood pressure than public transport or driving. Back in my twenties, I recall a terrifying ride, on A-roads without cycle lanes and full of thundering lorries, from Greenford to Croydon. Imagine if you could do that on a safe path separated from the menace of motorists.”
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.