Cycling Groups Welcome Boris' "Crossrail for Bikes"

Mayor's Vision for Cycling includes segregated tracks on Westway

Cycling groups have welcomed The Mayor's Vision for Cycling, which will create a 'Crossrail for the bike' as part of his plans for a nearly £1 billion investment in London cycling.

The route will run for more than 15 miles, very substantially segregated, from the western suburbs, through the heart of London, to Canary Wharf and Barking.

It will use new segregated cycle tracks along, among other places, Westway flyover and the Embankment. It is believed to be the longest substantially-segregated cycle route of any city in Europe.

London Cycling Campaign calls the plan "ground-breaking" and says spokesman Andrew Gilligan: " With multiple commitments to adopt Dutch style infrastructure and international best practice - as well as commitments on better cycle routes, motor traffic restriction in residential areas and 'mini-Holland' town centre developments - Mayor Johnson has made his strongest statement to date that he means to keep the promises he made to LCC's Love London, Go Dutch campaign."

Road safety charity Brake has also welcomed the proposals, which also include a 20mph limit on some main roads, saying: " Brake applauds the Mayor’s vision to reduce the dangers and make cycling a normal way to get about. We believe everyone has the right to cycle or walk to work or for leisure, health or enjoyment, without fear or threat from fast traffic.  But too often the rights of people to cycle or walk are not prioritised in transport planning, even though active travel has huge health, environmental, and economic benefits.

" This is a great step forward for London, and we urge other authorities across the UK to follow London’s lead and invest in 20mph limits and facilities to allow people to walk or cycle safely and without fear.”

The Vision for Cycling includes:

A new 'Central London Grid' of bike routes in the City and West End, using segregation, quiet streets, and two-way cycling on one-way traffic streets, to join all the other routes together

A new network of 'Quietways' – direct, continuous, fully-signposted routes on peaceful side streets, running far into the suburbs, and aimed at people put off by cycling in traffic

Substantial improvements to both existing and proposed Superhighways, including some reroutings

Major improvements to the worst junctions, making them safer and less threatening for cyclicsts

Work to make HGVs safer

London Cycling Campaign, however also sounds a note of caution, saying: " Whilst commending the Vision LCC remains concerned that it does not go far enough; for example there is no clear direction to TfL to prioritise walking and cycling as the general rule in London streets, there appears to be a substantial reduction in cycling funding envisaged from the next Mayoralty onwards, and it contains no upwards revision of the modal share target for cycling from 5% to 10% as recommended by the London Assembly.

And, talking specifically about the segregated route from White City to Barking, which the Mayor hopes will be ready for use by 2016, and which includes the three and a half mile Westway, the campaign warns: " The White City - Barking segregated cycle highway route will only work if provides safe and inviting connections along the way and at each end."

March 15, 2013