Mayor to push ahead with London’s “Crossrail” cycle superhighway plans

Boris confirms plans for Europe’s longest segregated cycle path

London Mayor Boris Johnson has today confirmed that plans to build Europe’s longest segregated cycle path are to go ahead.

Following a protracted consultation process, some changes have been made to the original design dubbed “Crossrail for bikes”, though the plans are largely going ahead unaltered.

The first phase will see a segregated cycle lane linking Hyde Park with Tower Hill, following a route along Embankment.

The key concern was that at particular “pinch points”, the cycle lane would reduce road capacity and cause traffic congestion.

Boris says these concerns have now been addressed. “We have done one of the biggest consultation exercises in TfL’s history. We have listened, and now we will act. Overwhelmingly, Londoners wanted these routes, and wanted them delivered to the high standard we promised. I intend to keep that promise,” said the Mayor.

“But I have also listened to those concerned about the east-west route’s impact on traffic. Thanks to the skill of TfL’s engineers and traffic managers, we have made changes to our original plans which keep the whole of the segregated cycle track and junctions, while taking out much less of the route’s motor traffic capacity – and so causing much shorter delays.”

Of the 21,500 responses TfL received about the plans, 84% were in favour of the new bike lanes.

Work is expected to commence in April. However, this could potentially still be thwarted if a judicial review into the scheme goes ahead.

According to the BBC, groups including London First, London Travelwatch, City of London, and the London Taxi Drivers Association all voiced concerns.

Meanwhile, hundreds of businesses and institutions have been vocal in their support for the scheme, including employers such as RBS, Unilever, Canary Wharf Group, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Ipsos MORI, Microsoft and Orange.

Cycling London Pollution

In addition to the east-west route, a north-south route will also be built to provide a safe cycling route from Kings Cross to Elephant and Castle.

According to the Evening Standard, seven cyclists have been killed in the last 18 months on roads due to be improved.

Johnson said: “I now look forward to the transformation that these routes will bring – not just for people who cycle now, but for the thousands of new cyclists they will attract.

“Getting more people on their bikes will reduce pressure on the road, bus and rail networks, cut pollution, and improve life for everyone, whether or not they cycle themselves.”

Currently, cyclists make up 25% of rush-hour traffic, the BBC reports, while just 20% of all journeys in and out of central London are made by car, according to Andrew Gilligan, the mayor’s cycling commissioner.

The statistics represent a fall of 25% in vehicles on the roads over the last decade, while over the same period the number of cyclists has doubled.

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