London's billion dollar floating bike path turns to the crowd

If successful, the Thames Deckway would offer cyclists a traffic-free route through Central London for the price of £1.50(Credit: Thames Deckway)

Last year, we reported on the Thames Deckway: a very ambitious billion dollar proposal to build a floating, sustainably-powered cycle path on the River Thames, in the heart of London. In a bid to raise funds to move the project forward, an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been launched.

If successful, the Thames Deckway would offer cyclists a safe and traffic-free route through Central London for the price of £1.50 (about US$2) per trip. Situated close to the shore to avoid commercial river traffic, it would feature four lanes, multiple entry and exit points, and amenities including refreshment kiosks and rest areas.

The cycle path would float on a series of pontoons joined together and moored to the riverbed with anchor blocks. The access exit and entry points would be hinged to allow for tidal changes, and the four cycling lanes would sport a non-skid, self-draining surface, and barriers to prevent cyclists falling into the river.

The plan is to keep Thames Deckway open 24/7, but the use of the lanes would be split between cyclists and pedestrians depending on projected requirements. During peak commuting times, for example, it would be open to cyclists only, while off-peak times would allow some pedestrians. Weekends would also include an all-pedestrian day. Power needs would be met by wind, tide, and solar systems, with battery arrays kicking-in when these prove inadequate.

The project's backers hope to raise £175,000 ($264,000) on Indiegogo toward research and refining the Thames Deckway masterplan. Promised rewards include passes, tote bags, and other merchandise (it's a flexible funding scheme, which means that even if the whole amount isn't raised, the team get to keep all donated funds).

Should the campaign prove successful the team will still be required to raise an estimated £600 million (roughly US$965 million), if it is to open the Thames Deckway in 2023 as planned, so there's a long way to go yet.

Check out the pitch video below for more information on the project.

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