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.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.