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Plans for safer cycling routes in City of London likely to be scrapped

City of London Corporation had previously expressed concern about cyclists being put into conflict with pedestrians

The City of London Corporation is to block around half of the proposed ‘Quietway’ routes intended to promote cycling, reports the London Evening Standard. The decision comes despite three cyclist deaths within the City in the last 12 months.

Various Quietway routes have been proposed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, but last year, the City of London Corporation expressed concern, saying that cyclists would be put in direct conflict with pedestrians. Now reports to the City Corporations’s streets committee are likely to result in a number of the routes being abandoned.

It is said that one route cannot run via West Smithfield as it is “not compatible” with Smithfield market, while a second linking the Mayor’s cycle superhighways at Liverpool Street, Aldgate and Tower Gateway has resulted in objections to allowing cyclists to ride through Bishop’s Square – private land owned by the City Corporation.

Following cyclist Ying Tao’s death at Bank junction last month, the City’s planning and transport chairman, Michael Welbank, said that road safety was a “priority” and promised to “keep working to reduce danger on the roads by whatever means possible.” Last year also saw cyclists Victor Manuel Ben-Rodriguez and Janina Gehlau killed at Ludgate Circus.

A City of London Corporation spokesman said: “We will put these proposals up for public consultation and we will of course be listening to those who might have concerns.”

Earlier this month, Westminster City Council faced criticism after three new so-called Quietway cycling routes, released for consultation, were branded 'extremely disappointing' and ‘nowhere near’ the quiet routes that are said to be needed.

The designs, which include painted bikes on the road and contraflow cycle lanes, will improve routes' Dutch standard score by just one per cent according to Colin Wing of the Westminster Cycling Campaign.

London Cycling Campaign's Charlie Lloyd added that the plans were "not consistent with our concept of a Central London Grid."

"You need a network of quiet routes. This is nowhere near that because they haven't resolved the through traffic, the rat runs on the routes they are suggesting and there isn't an overview of network of East-West, North-South routes, which is what we asked Transport for London to co-ordinate."

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