London’s Mayor has revealed a £1 billion restructuring of the cycling routes in the nation’s capital. The project includes the creation of 15 miles of fully-segregated routes dubbed “Crossrail for the bike”, as well as semi-segregated routes which would include cycle paths alongside selected streets, the aptly labelled “Quietways” for backs streets as well as alterations to the already-existing cycling network.
The cycling routes in the West End districts will be joined to all the other routes, forming a “Central London Grid” cycling network.
In order to make Londoners more familiar with the routes, the plan is to name them after bus routes or railway lines, or better still, follow such pre-existing routes.
The plan also makes room for overhauling some of the worst junctions in the city, notable among these being Elephant and Castle, Tower, Vauxhall, Swiss Cottage and Blackfriars. Despite the fact that the plans are going to tally overhaul these junctions instead of just upgrading them, the funding for the safer junction review by Transport for London has been increased from £19 million to £100 million.
To ensure even greater safety, the funds would also cater for eight police officers who would solely be responsible for collisions relating to heavy goods vehicles and bicycles. This would be an addition to the already-existing system where there are no haulage deliveries during rush hour to prevent collisions between such vehicles and bicycles.
Out of the total £913 million, £100 million will be used to create cycling-friendly zones on the outskirts of London, though this will possibly concentrate on just a few boroughs, with local authorities expected to pick up where the capital city leaves off.
The aim to provide safer cycling routes would reduce pressure on the roads in central London and the pressure on public transport. The announcement was generally well-received.