It has been announced that London’s Quietway cycle network is to be extended to every borough, with substantial funding set aside for major cycling schemes in the suburbs. Transport for London (TfL) has also confirmed that building work is to start on the first major junction earmarked for transformation as part of the Mayor’s junction review programme.
TfL and Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, have written to London boroughs outlining new routes that TfL is looking to develop in the second phase of the Quietways project. Phase one, which involves 15 boroughs, is now underway with the first routes set to open in the spring. Phase two will extend the network into all 32 boroughs and it is hoped that a significant proportion of the routes will be in place by 2016.
Quietways are designed to make cycling more accessible by offering a means of navigating the capital while avoiding roads with heavy traffic. While many have welcomed the plan, the City of London expressed concern earlier in the year, suggesting that proposed routes may direct cyclists into areas that are often busy with pedestrians.
Referring to funding intended to raise the standard of cycling infrastructure to Dutch standards, Andrew Gilligan, Cycling Commissioner for London, said:
“We had excellent bids for Mini-Holland funding from 18 outer boroughs. Only three boroughs could be selected for full funding but we are today delighted to announce that we are funding key elements of the bids made by many of the runners-up.”
These include redesign of Twickenham and Ealing town centres; a new bike crossing on the North Circular; a new bike ‘superhub’ at Abbey Wood station; a new bike route along the A316 in south-west London; the Hounslow and Hammersmith and Fulham sections of Cycle Superhighway 9; and a superhighway type scheme in Barking.
It has also been announced that work is to start on improvements to the Oval junction on Cycle Superhighway 7 in south London. This will be the first of 33 major junctions which are to be upgraded to make them safer for cyclists.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“We know that most serious bike and pedestrian injuries and fatalities occur at junctions. That’s why we are overhauling some of the worst examples of these Sixties relics across London. In my Cycling Vision I promised to focus on making serious, meaningful improvements to our worst routes and junctions. We can turn these junctions into more civilised places for cyclists and pedestrians, while at the same time maintaining their traffic function.”
Segregated tracks will be installed to separate cyclists from traffic, while four junctions in the area will benefit from low-level signals at the height of cyclists which will provide an early start.
Of the remaining 32 junctions selected for transformation, six have been launched for public consultation and it is hoped that a third will be complete by 2016.
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said:
“Following detailed design and modelling, the hardhats are on and the spades are about to hit the ground on these hugely transformative schemes. Our redesign of Oval Triangle will provide more dedicated space for cyclists, better crossing for pedestrians and a more pleasant environment for all.”