Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has given the go-ahead the completion of the capital’s North-South Cycle Superhighway after more than two in three respondents to a public consultation said they supported the plans.
Once complete, the route will run for 5 kilometres from Elephant & Castle to King’s Cross. The southern section, already open, includes Blackfriars Bridge where cyclists now account for 70 per cent of traffic at rush hour - the video above shows it three days after it opened.
Transport for London (TfL) says that it anticipates that the section that has now been given the green light will prove equally popular with cyclists and that wider pavements means it will also benefit pedestrians.
Construction of the remaining section from Stonecutter Street to King’s Cross will start in spring next year, with Transport for London (TfL) saying it is drawing up detailed plans incorporating some changes in response to concerns raised by some of those affected by the route.
Those include the charity RNIB, whose headquarters on Judd Street are close to the route. TfL confirmed that a signalised crossing outside those premises will remain in place and that it “will continue to work with RNIB to ensure that vulnerable pedestrians are not adversely impacted.”
“We must make it safer and easier for all Londoners to cycle,” said Khan. “It can have major benefits for our health, and making cycling part of people’s everyday lives will also help clean up London’s toxic air.
“The extension of the North-South Cycle Superhighway will make a big difference joining up existing and planned safe cycle routes in this part of London, and make cycling a safe and practical option for thousands more Londoners.
“We’re determined to learn all the lessons from previous superhighway schemes, and we’ve listened carefully to everyone who responded to the consultation. This includes incorporating wider pavements and more crossing points to ensure pedestrians properly benefit from the new scheme too,” he added.
TfL director of road space management, Alan Bristow, commented: “The first part of the North-South Cycle Superhighway has been a great success and is already being used by thousands of Londoners daily.
“We’re now keen to complete the route to enable even more cycling journeys, but will be planning the project carefully to minimise disruption to other road users.”
The route will pass through the boroughs of Camden and Islington, whose executive member for environment and transport, councillor Claudia Webbe, described the decision to give the route the go-ahead as a “historic change.”
She said: “This is an exciting opportunity to add to Islington's cycling network, improving access and safety,” and hailed the “overwhelming support” expressed in the responses to the consultation, with 53 per cent fully supporting the proposals and a further 17 per cent supporting them in part.
“As we proceed to deliver this historic change, it is important that the work is carried out with the minimum of disruption,” she added.
“I look forward to seeing the clear benefits of the scheme finally come to pass – from safer cycling in an integrated network to a better environment for pedestrians and residents, as well as improvements to Islington’s air quality.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.