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New safe cycling routes for London

The Ecologist

16th December 2013

This week the London Mayor Boris Johnson will announce a huge expansion of safe cycling routes across England's capital city.

There just aren't enough people in Britain who can design good cycle routes - and we are hiring most of them!

Last week Johnson affirmed his massive £913m programme to improve infrastructure and safety for cyclists in the capital.

This week he is to publish his plans for a Central London Grid - a extensive network of fully-segregated main road cycle routes and back-street 'Quietway' cycle routes designed to make cycling in central London "easier and less intimidating".

The plan is inspired by the London Cycling Campaign's vision of a 'Zone 1 BikeGrid' of highly connected quiet, safe cycle routes travelling E-W and N-S through central London.

In some ways the reality goes beyond the LCC's vision: the Quietways will extend well outside central London enabling long-distance cyclists to avoid main roads. The Cycle Superhighway 2 - the subject of much recent controversy following a spate of cyclist deaths - will be swiftly upgraded.

"I understand people's concerns and anger about the recent spate of tragedies on our roads", said Johnson, speaking in City Hall. "A huge amount has already been done to make cycling safer and there's much more in the pipeline to come.

"A massive new network of cycle superhighways, completed to far higher standards than before, including two Crossrail segregated routes for the bike through the heart of central London.

"A new network of back-street Quietways for cyclists who may not wish to encounter some of your members behind the wheels of their trucks. A huge programme to make London's most dangerous junctions safer and less threatening for cyclists.

"And, of course, a whole set of measures to make lorries safer. The role of lorries in cycle accidents is well known now - roughly half of all fatalities involve HGVs, though they are only 4 per cent of the traffic. 

"The new construction industry safety standard we are launching is a real step forward and will help save vulnerable users, cyclists and pedestrians, from harm."

More ground-breaking announcements are due to be made in early 2014. First, he will name the 33 major junctions in London which are in line for major upgrades to make them safer and less threatening for cyclists.

Then in February he will name the four winners of the 'mini-Holland' competition - outer London boroughs who will receive £100 million between them for "dramatic and transformational" pro-cycling change.

Soon after he will reveal plans for the new Superhighways - a huge network of mainly segregated and semi-segregated routes on London's main roads, completed to higher standards than now.

The Mayor added: "I think cyclists and I agree on almost everything we need to make the roads safer. The only difference between us is timing ...

"I would love to see change overnight. The reason why it will take a little longer is not lack of money, or lack of will - but lack of capacity. There just aren't enough people in Britain who can design good cycle routes - and we are hiring most of them!"

 

 

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