London's Mayor, Boris Johnson unveiled the routes for two of his proposed Cycle Superhighways on Friday, the two pilot routes: one from Barking to Tower Hill via the A13 and the other from Wimbledon to Bank via the A25 will be up and running by next May says the Mayor's office.
However first the Mayor and Transport For London (TFL) need to “consult closely” with the eight boroughs they will run through – these are the bodies responsible for most of the roads the proposed runs will run along – a point emphasised by them when the previous mayor, Ken Livingstone first announced the plan for Cycle Superhighways.
Since then though Mayor Boris has made them a cenral part of his London Cycling Revolution and he gave fair warnning at Friday's launch that although the roads that the highways will use do not fall under his remit he won't be taking no for an answer.
The Mayor said: “I'm not kidding when I say that I'm militant about cycling, and these Superhighways are central to the cycling revolution I'm determined to bring about. No longer will pedal power have to dance and dodge around petrol power - on these routes the bicycle will dominate and that will be clear to all others using them. That should transform the experience of cycling - boosting safety and confidence of everyone using the routes and reinforcing my view that the bike is the best way to travel in this wonderful city of ours."
The Mayor's commitment to these routes can only have been reinforced last month when he and his transport advisor, Kulveer Ranger, along with then Transport Minister Lord Adonis had what was described by Johnson “as a near death experience” in an incident involving a lorry door while out riding one of the proposed routes.
Undaunted the Mayor launched “London's Summer of Cycling” a number of eye-catching initiatives and events (such as an enlarged London Freewheel bike ride) which he hopes will kick-start a major boom in the numbers of Londoners choosing to cycle – building on the increasing numbers already making that choice.
The Cycle Superhighways are part of Johnson's plans to help new and returning cyclists to keep on pedalling and he envisages a total of 12 routes into central London in place by 2012.
The idea is to link outer lying residential areas such as Barking with central London using a combination of the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) and roads owned and managed by the London boroughs.
If all goes to plan each route will be given its own identity with consistent and easy to follow road markings and signs. Safety issues will be addressed through specific measures such as the provision of advance stop boxes and providing continuous lanes through junctions as appropriate.
In addition, obstructions will be minimised and improvements made to road surfaces to ensure a smoother ride.
Commenting on the proposed new routes Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor's Director of Transport Policy, said: "Cycle Superhighways form a key part of the Mayor and TfL’s target to increase cycling in London by 400 per cent by 2025, compared to 2000 levels. From cycling the proposed routes myself, and speaking to a whole range of cyclists, I'm sure that these routes will prove a hugely welcome addition to London's cycling infrastructure - giving many more people the confidence to ride".
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.