SkyCycle aerial cycle lanes in London take a step closer to reality as architects propose test sites to Network Rail

SkyCycle outline their plans for cycle routes alongside railway viaducts to transport bosses

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 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.”

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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