London’s deputy mayor for transport, Val Shawcross, has confirmed that consultations will be held next year into two long-awaited Cycle Superhighways originally announced by former mayor Ken Livingstone in 2008 – one from Woolwich in the south east of the capital, the other from Hounslow in the west.
Speaking to the annual general meeting of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) earlier this month, the Labour London Assembly Member, appointed to her role as deputy mayor after Sadiq Khan’s election in May, said that consultations on both CS4 from Woolwich to Tower Bridge and CS9 from Hounslow to Olympia will commence in the New Year.
Rejecting claims from some elements of the media including the Daily Mail, she insisted “cycling is not the cause of congestion” and said a rethink was needed about consolidating delivery services in London, highlighting that two thirds of goods ordered online were not delivered at the first attempt.
The CS4 and CS9 routes were among 12 unveiled by Livingstone three months before he lost the May 2008 election to Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, but to date just seven of the planned routes have been completed.
Safety concerns over the non-segregated infrastructure prompted a rethink on their design, led by Johnson’s cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan, appointed in January 2013, who also prioritised the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways that cross the city centre and which did not form part of the original plans.
A shift away from showing ‘segregation’ by using blue paint – reflecting that the Cycle Superhighways were originally sponsored by Barclays – and changing their design to incorporate physical separation from motor traffic have further delayed the programme, as have lengthy consultations, characterised by often vocal opposition.
Earlier this month, Shawcross told road.cc that the next generation of cycling infrastructure in London would have widespread benefits to appeal beyond those who commute by bike, and that she and Khan were close to finalising a shortlist of candidates for the role of cycling commissioner.
Speaking at the LCC AGM, she also repeated her promise that engagement with local communities would happen at an earlier stage to try and head off some of the anti-cycling sentiment that has manifested itself in relation to some of the Cycle Superhighways as well as Mini Holland schemes in three outer London boroughs.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.