London to Build Cycle Superhighways

Routes will be among the longest in Europe

Feb 18, 2015
Outside Magazine

The lanes will allow only bikes, and some may be ready for use by spring 2016.    Davide D'Amico/Flickr

Just days after London announced that more of its population is cycling than ever before, the city’s transportation department, Transport for London, approved final plans for Mayor Boris Johnson’s “Crossrail for Bikes” initiative.

“We know that Londoners want these routes and that they want them to be delivered to the high standard I promised, as quickly as possible,” Johnson said in a press release. “I now look forward to the transformation that these planned routes will bring—not just for people who cycle now, but for the thousands of new cyclists they will attract.”

According to the release, more than 170,000 bike trips are made in London every day, a 25 percent increase over 2013. The approved plans would update the four existing superhighways and create four additional bike superhighways, one of which would be a north-south corridor and another that would run east-west. Segregation from motor vehicle traffic has also been proven to reduce cycling fatalities, according to the release.

These plans are just the latest in a long-term vision Johnson proposed in March 2013, of which roughly $1.4 billion would be invested in the city’s biking infrastructure. The goal, as stated in the proposal, is to raise the level of cycling with other prominent European cities, namely Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Work began on the existing Cycle Superhighway 2 on Tuesday.

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