The landscape architects behind the proposed SkyCycle scheme in London, which would see cycle tracks installed alongside railway viaducts with riders charged £1 a time to use them, were due to meet with Network Rail yesterday to outline their plans.
As reported here on road.cc last month, Sam Martin of Exterior Architecture believes that the cycle lanes in the sky would provide a safe alternative to the road for cycling commuters, whose numbers are on the rise – although the comments to that article suggest that many cyclists would much rather see changes at ground level.
The Evening Standard reports that Mayor of London Boris Johnson had given his backing to yesterday’s meeting. Martin and colleague Oli Clark first pitched their idea to Mr Johnson when they met him in a lift at City Hall, where they were due to meet his transport advisors.
“Boris was all over the idea,” said Martin. “He summed it up in one line, ‘It’s like ET flying to the moon, flying over London.’”
The original idea came from his dissertation regarding including cycle ways within a proposed regeneration of Battersea Power Station. “We passed by Queenstown Road railway station. That’s where we thought, ‘Let’s clip the cycle way on to that’,” he explained.
According to the Evening Standard, Martin and Clark believe that there are three specific sites – one in the north, another in the east, and the third in the southwest of London – where their plans could be tested.
The newspaper adds that a potential first route could link Stratford and the City via Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street station, and while Mr Martin accepts the scheme would cost “tens of millions of pounds,” he adds that sponsorship could be a solution, as Barclays does with the Cycle Superhighways and Cycle Hire Scheme.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson told the Standard: “He is committed to leading a cycling revolution in the capital, and the use of elevated cycleways is an idea worth exploring.”
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.