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Labour's Mayor candidate backs Rotherhithe Bridge and sets out 6-point plan for cycling

Sadiq Khan sets out plans for more Cycle Superhighways and Quietways

The Labour London Mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan has outlined a six point manifesto for cycling that he hopes will propel him to the top job.

Claiming that his plan will make cycling safer and easier in the capital, Mr Khan has also pledged to build the Rotherhithe Bridge, connecting Canary Wharf to Surrey Quays.

Sadiq Khan’s plan for cycling includes:

  •     Continuing the Cycle Superhighway Programme, investigating new routes and learning the lessons from earlier schemes, with a focus on segregated provision where appropriate.
  •     Prioritising Quiet Ways to broaden London’s safe cycle network, completing the roll out of the existing town-centre cycling improvement plans, and begin a new round of schemes.
  •     An urgent review of the Safer Junction Programmes to identify and commit to improvements at more of the major accident blackspots.
  •     Rolling out 20mph zones across the city as part of the '20’s Plenty' campaign.
  •     Pedestrianising Oxford Street, improve cycle access and look at introducing car-free weekends, following the lead of Paris.
  •     Delivering more cycle storage and parking, using the London Plan to ensure provision in new office and residential developments, while working with London boroughs deliver more on-street secure parking provision in residential areas.

Mr Khan said: “I’ll make London a byword for cycling around the world – making it easier and safer to get around our city by bike and encouraging thousands more Londoners to take up cycling.

“We still have a long way to go to make London safer for cyclists – and for those who would like to cycle but currently don’t feel comfortable doing so.
 
"I want to develop and accelerate the progress made with London’s bike hire scheme and Cycle Superhighways, learning from what has worked and what hasn’t.

"Where possible, I want to see safe and segregated provision delivered on Superhighway routes, quiet ways and in our town-centres, as well as many more cycle storage and parking spaces.”

We recently reported how plans have been unveiled for a pedestrian and cycling bridge across the River Thames in London linking Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe, with a ground-breaking design that also owes much to Tower Bridge, the next surface crossing upstream.

Like that iconic landmark, the proposed new bridge is based on a bascule design – it will open in the middle to allow ships to pass underneath – and according to the people behind the project, would be the longest such structure in the world.

At an estimated cost of £88 million, it wouldn't be cheap, although as the Guardian points out, that’s half the cost of the Garden Bridge championed by Joanna Lumley, and from which cycling would be banned.

Moreover, it links two parts of London that are increasingly in need of a river crossing as development around Canary Wharf continues, with many workers in the financial centre, also home to a sizeable shopping mall and a huge number of catering outlets, commuting there from south London.

While the counterweights for Tower Bridge are housed in the base of the two towers that give the structure its unique silhouette, those in the proposed Rotherhithe Bridge would instead be formed by the two masts.

“The result,” says Guardian architecture critic, Oliver Wainwright, “is an exceptionally lean structure, which looks like a pair of whale bones held in fine balance.”

As we reported in October, Oxford Street is likely to close to motor traffic, and cyclists to be allowed to turn left at red lights, after next year, since the biggest London mayoral candidates have agreed to pursue the policies, if elected.

In response to Stop Killing Cyclists' 10 by 2020 campaign, which sets out ten asks for mayoral candidates, there was unanimous support to improve air quality on one of Europe's most polluted streets and, perhaps more surprisingly, for the Idaho Stop law (link is external), named after the US state where cyclists can treat red lights as stop signs, and proceed if the way is clear.

Mayoral candidates were chosen by their respective parties over the past weeks, and are: Sadiq Khan (Labour), Zac Goldsmith (Conservative), Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrat), Sian Berry (Green). Rosalind Readhead stands as an independent candidate.

 

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.

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