London’s Victoria Embankment could be closed to motor vehicles for up to six months due to complications relating to the building of the capital’s so-called ‘super sewer’ – but the good news for cyclists using the East-West Cycle Superhighway which runs along the same route is that it will remain open.
The Evening Standard’s Ross Lydall reports that initially, the westbound lane of the Victoria Embankment will be closed to traffic from Southwark Bridge for six weeks commencing 6 August.
That closure will enable engineers to examine the risk of damage to two gas mains that run beneath the road due to works associated with the £4 billion Thames Tideway project which will run for 16 miles and link 34 sewer outflows between Acton in the west and Abbey Mills in the east.
Should the gas mains have to be replaced, Transport for London (TfL) has said that the Victoria Embankment would be closed for six months from 29 April next year in both directions while the work is carried out – but the Cycle Superhighway, which is used by thousands of cyclists each day, will remain open.
TfL’s director of network management, Glynn Barton, told the Evening Standard: “Due to essential gas work by Cadent Gas, there will be changes to travel along Victoria Embankment from 6 August to mid-September this year.
“We are working with Tideway and Cadent to ensure the impact of the work is minimised as much as possible and the cycle superhighway will remain open for the duration of the work. Full travel advice will be available on the TfL website from next week.
“The work this year is a trial ahead of full gas main replacement next year. Further details of next year’s work will be available once this summer’s trial hole work has been completed. The Cycle Superhighway will also remain open during next year’s work.”
In 2014, then Mayor of London Boris Johnson came under criticism for what some saw as his desire to push through the Cycle Superhighway rather than wait until the works could be performed alongside those for the Thames Tideway Tunnel and thereby minimise disruption to motorists.
At the time, it was reported that the ‘Super Sewer’ works could even result in parts of the Cycle Superhighway to be closed, and today’s news has led Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, to call on Johnson’s successor, Sadiq Khan, to re-route it.
He told radio station LBC: “Sadiq needs to grab this opportunity to put right Boris’ wrongs.”
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.