London Bike 'Crossrail: Transport for London have outlined a £913m cycling plan that will see a Crossrail for the bike across London. The London Cycling Campaigns welcomed the scheme, which they called 'ground breaking'.
The 'Crossrail for the bike' 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 Dutch-style segregated cycle tracks along, among other places, the Victoria Embankment and the Westway flyover.
The Mayor said: 'The Westway, the ultimate symbol of how the urban motorway tore up our cities, will become the ultimate symbol of how we are claiming central London for the bike.' The London's 'bike Crossrail' will lie at the heart of a new bike 'Tube network'.
TFL will roll out the scheme over the next four years London and will be named after, Tube lines and bus routes, so everyone knows where they go.
Other elements include
- More Dutch-style fully-segregated lanes
- More 'semi-segregation' on other streets, with bikes better separated from other vehicles
- 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
- 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
The Mayor added: 'I want to de-Lycrafy cycling. 'I want to make it normal, something for everyone, something you feel comfortable doing in your ordinary clothes.
'Our new routes will give people the confidence to get in the saddle.'I do not promise perfection, or that London will become Amsterdam any time soon.
'But what I do say is that this plan marks a profound shift in my ambitions and intentions for the bicycle. 'The reason I am spending almost £1bn on this is my belief that helping cycling will not just help cyclists.
'It will create better places for everyone. 'It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich.
'It means more seats on the Tube, less competition for a parking place and fewer cars in front of yours at the lights. 'Above all, it will fulfil my aim of making London's air cleaner.
'If just 14 per cent of journeys in central London were cycled, emissions there of the greatest vehicle pollutant, NOx, would fall by almost a third and over the years literally thousands of lives could be saved.'
The plan includes major and substantial improvements to the worst junctions, making them safer and less threatening for cyclists with measures such as segregation and cycle-only paths or phases.
Junctions to be tackled in the next three years include Blackfriars, Vauxhall, Tower, Swiss Cottage, and Elephant & Castle.
The budget for TfL's safer junction review has been more than quintupled, from £19m to £100m, and the money will be focused on fewer sites.
Lorry safety will be a major focus of the plan, as they disproportionately kill and seriously injure cyclists.
This work will build upon TfL's work with the haulage industry and they will continue to work to encourage out-of-hours deliveries, to reduce the numbers of heavy vehicles in the city during peak times, and will closely study the experience of other cities where larger lorries are banned from parts of the city or at times of the day.
The vision flags that the Mayor's team will campaign for better laws that do not send the wrong message about the behaviour we expect on our roads.
In the meantime, there will be funding for eight police officers to investigate cyclist collisions with Heavy Goods Vehicles, vigorously gather the best possible evidence and press for the toughest possible action under existing law.
Other work outlined in the Mayor's vision for cycling includes a new pilot scheme allowing communities to design safe routes to school, and a new approach to children's cycle training, which will be delivered in all London schools.
In conjunction with Network Rail, work will be carried out to deliver a massive Dutch-style bike superhub at a mainline terminus, with space for thousands of bikes and very good cycle routes radiating from it.
The aim is that thousands of commuters switch from Tube and bus to bikes for the last stage of their journeys to work, significantly relieving pressure on the public transport networks in central London.
A trial of electric bikes will be conducted, including a small self-contained public electric bike hire scheme, similar to Barclays Cycle Hire.
Read the Mayor's plans in full: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/15459.aspx