Following an announcement from London mayor Boris Johnson yesterday, cycling in central London looks set to become significantly safer. Two new Cycling Superhighways are planned for the city, and – subject to final approval from Transport for London – work on building the routes will begin in March.
Though we're still waiting on confirmation from the mayor's office regarding the exact length of the new cycle routes, they are cited as "Europe's longest substantially-segregated urban cycleways." We originally reported on the plans back in 2013, but some changes have been made in the meantime to mitigate disruption to motorists.
The original proposal would have increased the morning rush-hour commute for drivers by a painful 16 minutes, but following a redesign that involved narrowing the two-way paths from 4 m (13 ft) to 3 m (9.8 ft) in some places, the current estimate is a more reasonable six minutes at the worst section – between Limehouse Link and Hyde Park Corner. Cyclists will be segregated from the road by a kerb at almost all times, excepting one area near the Upper Thames Street tunnel.
The new cycle routes will complement London's four existing Cycle Superhighways and cross the capital from east to west and north to south, intersecting at Blackfriars. The east-west route will join London's existing Cycle Superhighway 3 and begin at Tower Hill, passing through areas including Victoria Embankment, Parliament Square, Hyde Park, and Westbourne Terrace. The north-south route will run from Elephant and Castle to King’s Cross.
The mayor's office says that each of the new routes will have the capacity for up to 3,000 journeys an hour.
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