The Mayor's vision is for cycling in London will become an integral part of the transport network. It should be a normal part of everyday life, something people hardly think about and feel comfortable doing in ordinary clothes.
The Mayor’s Vision for Cycling document sets out how this will be achieved, focusing on four key outcomes:
- A Tube network for the bike. London will have a network of direct, joined-up cycle tracks, with many running in parallel with key Underground, rail and bus routes.
- Safer streets for the bike. Spending on the Better Junctions programme will be significantly increased and substantial improvements to the worst junctions will be prioritised. With government help, a range of radical measures will improve the safety of cyclists around large vehicles.
- More people travelling by bike. We will 'normalise' cycling, making it something anyone feels comfortable doing.
- Better places for everyone. The new bike routes are a step towards the Mayor's vision of a 'village in the city', with more trees, more space for pedestrians and less traffic.
Over the next ten years spending on cycling will total £913m, more than triple the previously planned levels. This money will focus on serious, meaningful improvements to routes and junctions.
There will be particularly dramatic increases in spending earmarked for outer London. The Mayor has appointed a Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, who has helped to draw up these policies and will drive them forward and win the support of the other bodies whose backing we need.
Crossrail for the bike
Construction has started on the new flagship route – a true Crossrail for the bicycle – that will run for at least 15 miles from the western suburbs through the heart of the capital to the City, Canary Wharf and Barking in the east. It will, we believe, be the longest substantially segregated continuous cycle route of any city in Europe.
The route will use a new segregated cycle track along the Victoria Embankment and the Westway flyover, among other places. The Westway, the ultimate symbol of how the urban motorway tore up our cities, will become the ultimate symbol of how we are claiming central London for the bike. TfL's consultation ran from 3 September 2014 to 9 November 2014. The section from Lancaster Gate to Tower Hill will open in summer 2016. A later extension will stretch to Acton.
All future Cycle Superhighways will be held to much higher standards. We have started work to substantially improve the existing Cycle Superhighways, including CS2, and full Dutch-style segregation can already be seen on the section of Superhighway between Stratford and Bow.
Construction of the first new Superhighway, a continuous, largely segregated two-way cycle track between Oval and Pimlico, has started following a successful consultation. Consultation has also taken place for Cycle Superhighway 1, a new 11km backstreet route between Tottenham, Stoke Newington, Dalston and the City of London.
A cross-London network of high quality guided Quietways is being created on low-traffic back streets and other routes so that different kinds of cyclists can choose the routes which suit them.
Unlike the old London Cycle Network, Quietways will be direct. They will be better surfaced. They will be clearly signed, mostly on the road itself, making it impossible to lose your way. Each route will be delivered as a whole, not piecemeal, and they will not give up at the difficult places.
Construction has started on the first two routes, which will run from central London to Greenwich and Hackney, with a later extension to Walthamstow.
£100 million has been allocated to transform three London suburbs into cycle-friendly ‘mini-Hollands’: Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest were successful in winning full mini-Holland status worth up to £30 million each.
Kingston will create a major cycle hub and the plaza outside Kingston station will be transformed. New high quality cycling routes will be introduced, together with a Thames Riverside Boardway, a landmark project which could see a new cycle boardwalk delivered on the banks of the river.
In Enfield, the town centre will be completely redesigned with segregated superhighways linking key destinations, three cycle hubs delivered across the borough and new greenway routes introduced.
Waltham Forest will build a semi-segregated Superhighway route along Lea Bridge Road as well as a range of measures focused on improving cycling in residential areas and the creation of “Hackney-style” cycle-friendly, low traffic neighbourhoods.
Bexley, Ealing, Merton and Richmond will also receive money to implement some discrete parts of their bids. In addition, Newham has been invited to submit a bid for funding under TfL’s major schemes budget to go towards a £16m plan to remove the Stratford gyratory and reshape Stratford town centre.
London led the world in establishing a commercial cycle hire scheme. In 2010 the LCHS started out without any members and sought to build the member base on the back of investing in 6,000 bicycles and 10,500 docking points. Today, Santander Cycles has 196,000 members, over 11,000 bicycles and 18,500 docking points.
And the scheme continues to grow: 2014 was a record for hires, with 10,023,987 journeys made - up 5% on 2012 (the previous highest year) and 25% on 2013.
In December 2013, the scheme expanded to south west London with more than 2,000 new bikes and 150 docking stations for Clapham Junction, Hammersmith, Fulham and Putney. The expansion grew the area covered by the scheme by 50 per cent. Half of these new docking points are located south of the River.
Expansion to the Olympic Park and intensification of the scheme in the existing area are our next priorities. We are also looking now to speed up the hiring process with ‘wave and pay’ technology, and giving active consideration to the possibility of electric bicycles for hire as well.
The Santander Cycles website has everything you need to know about how the scheme works.