Europe's longest substantially-segregated urban cycleway got its go ahead this morning. The news was hailed by various cycle organisations who applauded the Mayor of London's announcement for the segregated cycle ‘superhighway’ running between Hyde Park and Tower Hill.
“Despite the short-sighted, even selfish, views of a tiny but powerful minority, Boris Johnson has continued in his quest to change London into a better place for people to live and work," said British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman.
“His courage to push for culture change in our capital has kept the cause visible for the whole country and has won the support of Londoners who clearly want to transform the way they travel. His efforts should be both recognised and applauded. I would like to see this innovative thinking on cycling happening in other major cities across Britain.”
Writing for the Guardian last October, Boardman said how the proposed scheme is more than simply about cycling, making clear it’s “about health, about noise, about pollution, about the kind of cities we want to live in.”
Sustrans also got behind the announcement. Deputy Director for Sustrans London Matt Winfield commented: “We look forward to seeing the roads starting to reflect the way Londoners travel, and want to travel in the future.’
“Considering the amount of people these cycleways can move at once it’s a bit of a transport bargain, and will offer wider benefits in reduced pressure on public transport and create fitter and healthier Londoners.’
“The new ‘crossrail for bikes’ will complement the ambitious Quietways programme as London seeks to becomes an increasingly cycle friendly city."
Subject to the TFL board's approval of the revised plans (uh-oh) construction of the routes will begin in March.
The Mayor, Boris Johnson, said: “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.
“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 segregated cycle track and junctions, while taking out much less of the route’s motor traffic capacity – and so causing much shorter delays.
“I now look forward to the transformation that these planned 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.”