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Gilligan urges new mayor to back Cycle Superhighway programme

Consultations launched into three protected routes today as elections loom

London's cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan has urged Boris Johnson's successor as mayor to support the Cycle Superhighway programme as consultation were opened into three routes, including a two-way protected cycleway on the Westway.

The consultations have been launched by Transport for London (TfL) ahead of business at City Hall being suspended from 21 March ahead of the election, which takes place on 5 May, reports the London Evening Standard.

They follow news last week that TfL expects cycle commuters in central London to outnumber those who travel to work by car within the next few years.

The routes under consultation include the Westway section of the East-West Cycle Superhighway which will ultimately link Barking to Acton.

Mr Gilligan said it would provide a “fast and direct route to a vast swathe of west London and employment opportunities in Park Royal, Old Oak Common, Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush

“All these town centres will all be within easy reach of central London. It will take 15 minutes to get from East Acton to the West End on a bike. It will be the quickest way to travel.”
The other two routes will run from Swiss Cottage to the West End and from King's Cross to Farringdon, the latter forming part of the North-South Cycle Superhighway.

The candidate who will succeed Mr Johnson is likely to be either Labour's Sadiq Khan, or the Conservative, Zac Goldsmith.
“The next Mayor has got to decide whether he supports [cycle superhighways] or not," Mr Gilligan said.
A spokesman for Mr Goldsmith told the London Evening Standard that he "supports Cycle Superhighways" and "would continue" the investment Mr Johnson has pledged for cycling.
Meanwhile a spokesman for Mr Khan said:“Sadiq is committed to implementing the next phases of the cycle superhighway, but it is really important we learn from previous phases.
"We need to avoid repeating the same mistakes and must do more to minimise upheaval caused during any new construction.”
The mayor said that the routes were vital to help the city cope with its growing population.
“Almost one million more Londoners will be given easy access to safe cycling routes under these plans," he explained.

"That’s vital if we are to meet the challenge of London’s population boom.

“With schemes already in progress across London, these new proposals will create a complete network reaching north, south, east and west.

"By careful planning we have also been able to deliver a balance of benefits for pedestrians and motorists,” he added.

Matt Winfield, Acting Sustrans London Director, commented: “Although all of these lanes have been announced before, the detailed designs released today are hugely encouraging.

"The Cycle Superhighway network must be completed so that all compass points in London can enjoy the same safe routes. They will make cycling a practical option for millions of Londoners and go a long way to solving, quickly and cheaply, the transport needs of our rapidly growing city.

“Cycling in London has trebled in 15 years and it’s exciting to see the Mayor taking note and making bold decisions to accommodate this dramatic change.”

The consultations can be found on the TfL website.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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