Floating cycle path proposed for the River Thames

The Thames Deckway proposal would stretch for up to 7.45 miles (12 km) along the Thames, from Battersea to Canary Wharf (Image: River Cycleway Consortium)

Though cycling can be a great way to get around London, cyclists often need to share road space with fast-moving cars and vans. The River Cycleway Consortium, which includes Hugh Broughton Architects and engineering firm Arup, proposes to build a £600 million (roughly US$965 million) cycle path that floats on the Thames and offers cyclists a safer way of navigating the city.

The Thames Deckway would stretch for up to 7.45 miles (12 km) from Battersea to Canary Wharf, situated close to the river's edge and at a safe distance from all river traffic. The cycle path would rise and fall gently with the Thames' natural tide, and sport access ramps which rejoin the embankment at key points along the route.

According to the River Cycleway Consortium, the floating cycle path would take a fit cyclist around 30 minutes to complete, and command a flat-rate single journey price in the region of £1.50 ($2.40). There would be refreshment kiosks and stopping points available, and a bicycle fleet available which includes family-friendly infant carriages and kid's bikes.

Data such as traffic density, traffic flow, river motion, and any hazards would be monitored continuously by satellite, and all required power would derive from a combination of sun, tide, and wind energy.

The consortium is currently aiming to raise funds for a study of the project’s feasibility and, if all goes well, will seek private investment. The River Cycleway Consortium reports that the Thames Deckway could be up-and-running in as little as two years from being given the go-ahead.

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