City Hall has announced that design work on six potential new bike routes, which it says have high potential for cycling but currently lack any “safe infrastructure”, is now underway.
The routes are Lea Bridge to Dalston, Ilford to Barking Riverside, Hackney to the Isle of Dogs, Rotherhithe to Peckham, Tottenham Hale to Camden and Wembley to Willesden Junction.
They’re expected to cover both back streets and main roads, though at this stage it’s not guaranteed they would be segregated from road traffic along their entire length.
Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office describe them as “an important further step” in delivering his ambition to see 80 per cent of journeys being made by foot, bike or public transport by 2041 and so support efforts to clean up London’s air.
In addition to the new routes, City Hall says the the Mayor is “committed” to building a new pedestrian and cycle river crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf and that he and Transport for London are considering the responses to a recent public consultation.
Announcing the routes’ location, Mr Khan said: “I’ve committed to invest record amounts in making cycling easier and safer for Londoners, and I’m delighted that work is now beginning on designing the next generation of high-quality cycle routes across the capital.
“Encouraging more Londoners to cycle as part of their everyday routine is vital – providing huge benefits to people’s health, cutting congestion and air pollution for every Londoner, and improving quality of life in local neighbourhoods.”
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, added: “Backed up by the Mayor’s record investment, we’re working in close collaboration with London boroughs to design six new cycle routes that would connect key town centres, join up existing cycle infrastructure, and start to create a genuinely pan-London network of cycle routes accessible to millions more Londoners.”
The routes have been backed by Fran Graham from the London Cycling Campaign, who said: “By enabling cycling to become the natural choice for everyday journeys, this network will play a pivotal role in achieving the Mayor’s goal of reducing the over-dependence on motor vehicles that is congesting our city, damaging public health and contributing to climate change.”
However Andrew Gilligan, who was London’s first cycling commissioner under Boris Johnson, has expressed concern that with the design work only just getting underway, the schemes won’t materialise anytime soon
He said: “This is the latest in a large number of promises and announcements from Sadiq which have resulted in little or nothing concrete on the ground.
“What matters is not what you announce, it’s what you build, and I fear that these latest announcements will merely add to the large backlog of schemes that Sadiq has lacked the political will and competence to deliver.”
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly, welcomed news of the routes but also raised concerns about the lack of details, saying: “today’s announcement raises far more questions than answers.”
“If they are to be Cycle Superhighways we need assurances that these routes will be built to the highest design of cycle infrastructure that has long existed in Holland and Denmark.
“And if they are to be new Quietway routes why is no mention even made of the term
“If the Mayor is embarking on alternatives to both Cycle Superhighways and Quietways we need far more information to explain this change of policy and the departure from his manifesto pledge to increase the provision of both.”
The routes in full:
Lea Bridge to Dalston
This 3km route would link the City and Waltham Forest by filling the gap between Lea Bridge Road and Cycle Superhighway 1 at Dalston
Ilford to Barking Riverside
This 8km route would link two bustling outer London town centres and a major growth area with up to 10,800 new homes and a new London Overground connection – while enhancing access to the Elizabeth line and London Overground services
Hackney to the Isle of Dogs
This 8km route would stretch from Hackney to the Isle of Dogs via Canary Wharf, Mile End and Victoria Park
Rotherhithe to Peckham
This 4km route would link Peckham with key and growing destinations such as Canada Water and Surrey Quays, and connect up other cycling routes such as Quietway 1 and the proposed Cycle Superhighway 4
Tottenham Hale to Camden
This 8km route would connect major town centres and will cover seven junctions identified as being among the 73 with the worst safety records
Wembley to Willesden Junction
This 5km route would be north-west London’s first major cycle route, connecting Wembley, Stonebridge Park and Willesden Junction. Future sections will connect to planned infrastructure in west London such as CS9 and CS10.