The six new cycle routes announced by Transport for London (TfL) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan earlier this week are unlikely to be delivered before 2023. London Assembly members expressed disappointment upon hearing the news.
The press release announcing the schemes stated that the routes had been prioritised from a list of 25 drawn up by TfL in partnership with London boroughs as having the highest potential for encouraging more people to cycle.
Design work on routes between Lea Bridge to Dalston, Ilford to Barking Riverside, Hackney to the Isle of Dogs, Rotherhithe to Peckham, Tottenham Hale to Camden and Wembley to Willesden Junction has been given the go-ahead.
However, MayorWatch reports that at a meeting of the London Assembly’s transport committee on Thursday, officials said the proposed routes were unlikely to be delivered until 2023.
Speaking after the meeting, committee chair Keith Prince AM, said: “It is disappointing that the six new routes announced by the Mayor are unlikely to be built under this mayoralty. This is despite his pledge that he would triple the current provision of cycle superhighways.”
Prince also said that Khan’s claim of record funding for cycling schemes, “rings hollow when the Mayor is procrastinating over the building of new segregated cycling routes, despite popular public support for them.”
His words echo recent comments made by London’s former cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, who last week declared Cycle Superhighway 11 “dead” in response to watered down plans which would see only two gates to Regent’s Park shut to motorists and only for shorter hours.
Writing on his blog, Gilligan said: “Throughout his time in office Sadiq Khan has constantly promised to ‘transform London’s streets for walking and cycling,’ to have an ‘unprecedented focus on walking and cycling,’ to make London a ‘byword for cycling,’ and so on.
“The easiest place imaginable to keep these promises is surely a park. But no. And if Khan cannot even manage it here – in a scheme with the support of 60% of the public, one of the two local councils, the Crown Estate Paving Commission (one of those which controls the roads in the park), and the Royal Parks themselves – it is very difficult to see him managing it anywhere.
“This act of defining weakness effectively ends any serious cycling and walking programme in this mayoralty.”
In response, Khan blamed the “unnecessarily confrontational approach” of Gilligan and Boris Johnson for many of the problems now faced by CS11.
London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, has previously said that greater consultation was a means to end the “bikelash” which has hampered construction of some London cycle routes.
The angry response to several Cycle Superhighway projects perhaps also explains why that term is conspicuous by its absence in reference to the six new schemes.