The first of London’s quietway routes – designed to guide cyclists away from busy roads onto backstreets – are set to open next year.
Transport for London and City Hall say the routes will help encourage new and inexperienced cyclists by providing a “back-street alternative to busy main roads”.
To help make the routes cycle-friendly, TfL is working with local councils to resurface roads and remove barriers.
The first routes to open will run from central London to Greenwich and Hackney, with a further five routes due to open or be “in progress” by 2016.
Mayor Boris Johnson, said: “If you would love to hop on a bike but feel intimidated by busier roads, these Quietway routes will be perfect, connecting parks, backstreets and waterways to create secret passages through London.
“They will get you where you need to go on a route you might not have known existed until we showed you.
“They will make cycling much more accessible for ordinary people, in their ordinary clothes, revealing some of London’s hidden gems along the way.”
Val Shawcross, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson on the London Assembly, said the new routes “will provide an excellent alternative for less confident cyclists as well as those who just want to avoid London’s incredibly busy main routes.”
However she added: “It is disappointing though that it has taken 7 years for Boris Johnson to start putting in the quality cycling infrastructure we so badly need. Whilst cycling projects are now starting to come to fruition, too much of the cycling revolution we need to see will be left to the next mayor.”
Green Party AM Darren Johnson said the Mayor needed to ensure the new routes were more “than a network of new signs and publicity”.
He commented: “The minimum Londoner’s need from Quietways is a 20mph speed limit on all routes and funding to deal with all the dangerous junctions.
“I welcome the fact that the Mayor is now willing to fund the difficult schemes which he previously labelled as expensive and unpopular.
“If we are going to create safe routes that Londoners feel safe to cycle along whether they are eight or eighty, then it requires the London Mayor and local politicians to make courageous decisions.”