Earlier this week, the world’s most hated and loved at the same time mayor, Boris Johnson, announced the final plans for construction of two brand new cycling superhighways (see promo video here). If all goes well, and the needed approvals are granted by Transport for London, the massive project will get into motion as early as in March. The new routes are expected to be operational by 2016.
The construction of these major cycleways has been under discussion for nearly two years now. The plans have been prolonged and postponed numerously mainly because initially they were going to cause quite a chaos in rush hour traffic, introducing on average an extra quarter of an hour delay in driving time.
Thankfully, London’s city planers managed to come up with a solution, which seemed acceptable to all parties. The two-way cycleways were narrowed from 4m (13ft) to 3m (9.8), which will result in, at most, 6 minutes delay. The exact length of the stretches has not been revealed yet, however the tracks have been identified already and it is also known that cyclists on both ways will be segregated from other traffic at almost all times.
The first route will begin at Tower Hill, pass through Victoria Embankment and Hyde park, while the second route will start at Elephant and Castle and go all the way to King’s Cross. The only area, where there will not be kerb to separate cyclists from traffic will be near Upper Thames Street tunnel. Each one of the two routes will have the capacity to allow 3,000 bike journeys every hour.
With these two new cycleways, the city will have a total of four cycle superhighways, connecting the city from north to south, and east to west. With these, the city officials are aiming to encourage more people to jump on the two-wheel wonders. Hopefully, the initiative will result in much fewer accidents, much less traffic congestion and much cleaner air all around.
Image (c) Transport for London