Mayor, business leaders & doctors: “This is the kind of city we want"

23 September 2014

• Cycle Superhighway 2 from Whitechapel to Bow will be upgraded from a painted line to a world-class fully and semi-segregated cycle track under plans launched for consultation today.

Some of London’s biggest businesses today joined with the Mayor, Boris Johnson, and medics from the Royal London Hospital, to endorse the new superhighway programme.

Mr Johnson said: “In East London, it feels like the bicycle is already a fifth limb for anyone under 30. But this route, and the two I announced earlier, will mean that everyone from children to pensioners - people of all ages and experience levels - can share the joy and freedom of cycling, in safety and with confidence.

“I am delighted to be supported today by some of London’s biggest businesses - who know, like me, that this is about much more than cycling.

“It is about the kind of city we want to be. Central London is still dominated by cars, even though they account for only 20 per cent all journeys there. We are reducing that dominance, making the centre more pleasant for the 80 per cent, and allocating road space to reflect the actual usage of central London’s roads – which have seen a sharp fall in motor traffic, and a big rise in cycling.

“I understand that some London businesses object to these schemes and I will do everything I can to address my critics’ concerns. But I should be clear: these changes will create a more liveable city for everyone, even if they never get on a bike, and I am determined to see them through.”

The upgrade will see full and semi segregation installed along the whole route between Whitechapel High Street and Bow. Eleven pioneering cycle- priority junctions would also be installed, including at Aldgate East, Mile End and Whitechapel. Subject to the outcome of the consultation, work would begin in early 2015 and be completed by March 2016.

Along most of the route, a kerb would separate cyclists from motor traffic. Where there is less space, cyclists would be separated from traffic by highly visible traffic ‘wands’ - regularly spaced flexible poles that clearly define the cycle lane. Bus stop bypasses, similar to those already in use between Bow Roundabout and Stratford would also be introduced, directing cyclists behind the bus stop. The plans would also link into work currently underway by the City of London to remove the Aldgate gyratory which encircles Aldgate Tube station and return it to two-way traffic.

The Mayor’s superhighway programme – which also includes new segregated east-west and north-south routes through central London - is backed by a substantial number of City and central London businesses. Companies announcing their backing include Deloitte, Euromoney, the Crown Estates, Balderton Capital, Canonical, Barratt London, UBM (formerly United Business Media) and JLL (formerly Jones Lang La Salle).

Guy Grainger, UK chief executive of JLL, said: “We take pride in London being a global city. However London cannot presently claim to be best in class for cyclists at the moment. I welcome the plans for new Superhighways. More and more people will want to cycle to work in the future so keeping bikes and vehicles separate is good for everyone.”

Chris Fordham, managing director of Euromoney plc, said: “We support the proposals to implement segregated cycle super-highways in London, including two routes close to our headquarters across Blackfriars Bridge and along the Victoria Embankment. This could be of major benefit for our staff and encourage more of them to adopt healthier lifestyles and active travel.”

Dermot Hughes, head of facilities at UBM, said: “Like many businesses in London, a growing number of our employees cycle to work. An even larger proportion of our team would cycle to the office if they felt comfortable and safe on the roads.

We value their safety, want to promote active lifestyles for all employees and support their freedom to choose how they get to work. We also note strong evidence that more cycling increases spending in local retail businesses and lowers air pollution levels. Having seen the TfL plans for two new segregated routes through the heart of the city, we strongly support them.”

Alastair Baird, regional managing director, Barratt London, said: “We fully support the Mayor of London’s campaign to get London cycling. Physically segregated cycle lanes will encourage more people to try cycling in London by making it a more appealing as well as a safer transportation option.”

The programme is also strongly backed by major medical interests including Barts Health NHS Trust. Barts Health NHS Trust chief executive, Peter Morris, said: “These new superhighways could be a major step forward in cycling safety for London. We deal with the effects of cycle accidents, and every serious injury is simply one too many. We need to see a safer balance in our cities between driving and cycling."

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL said: “Our vast London-wide cycling programmes have helped to substantially grow cycling during the last decade. However, we know that there is always room for more to be done. This major upgrade of Barclays Cycle Superhighways 2, as well as the proposed new superhighways through central London, would deliver further safety benefits for both cyclists and pedestrians right across London. We will naturally make sure than any impact in delivering these schemes is kept to a minimum and look forward to hearing the responses from local residents, business and all road users.”

Notes to editors

Images of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade are available here: <a href="//www.london.gov.uk/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://www.dropbox.com/sh/t0owt0hlwq00dqr/AADCsN-jlgBEqEY0OojYQTb0a?dl=0">https://www.dropbox.com/sh/t0owt0hlwq00dqr/AADCsN-jlgBEqEY0OojYQTb0a?dl=0" target="_blank">https://www.dropbox.com/sh/t0owt0hlwq00dqr/AADCsN-jlgBEqEY0OojYQTb0a?dl=... </ol> <p style="margin-left: 36pt;"> </p> <ol> <li value="2">

 

The consultation for the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade is available here <a href="//www.london.gov.uk/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/cs2-upgrade/">https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/cs2-upgrade/">https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/cs2-upgrade/</a></li> </ol> <p style="margin-left: 36pt;"> </p> <ol> <li value="3">

 

The consultation for the East / West Cycle Superhighway is available here <a href="//www.london.gov.uk/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/eastwest">https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/eastwest">https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/eastwest</a></li> </ol> <p style="margin-left: 36pt;"> </p> <ol> <li value="4">

 

The consultation for the North/South Cycle Superhighway is available here <a href="//www.london.gov.uk/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/northsouth">https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/northsouth">https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/northsouth</a></li> </ol> <p> </p> <ol> <li value="5">

 

The superhighway proposals have been in the public domain for the last 18 months. The east-west superhighway was first announced on 13 March 2013, in the Mayor’s cycling vision, complete with a description of the route and a picture of the proposed measures on the front cover. The north-south superhighway was first announced in November 2013, again with pictures.</li> </ol> <p style="margin-left: 36pt;"> </p> <ol> <li value="6">

 

TfL has met with stakeholders, including all boroughs along the route of the proposed superhighways, on a regular basis to discuss the proposals in detail including holding at least 25 meetings with the City of London Corporation. Business leaders, including London First, have been engaged in the process through the Mayor’s Roads Task Force.</li> </ol> <p> </p> <ol> <li value="7">

 

Traffic impact data for the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways is being finalised and will be published later this week.</li> </ol> <p style="margin-left: 36pt;"> </p> <ol> <li value="8">

 

Traffic impact data for the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade will be released at a later date.</li> </ol> <p style="margin-left: 36pt;"> </p> <ol> <li value="9">

 

Comment piece from the Mayor from today’s Times below:

Imagine we could invent a miracle mode of transport that was quick, efficient and got the passenger exactly where they wanted to go and exactly when they wanted. Imagine that this machine was silent, beautiful, with zero emissions and promoted oxygenation of the brain and a general sense of well-being. Let us say, moreover, that this amazing contraption got commuters out of their cars and their trains and their buses and thereby not only relieved the pressure on an over-stretched mass transit system but also allowed the former captives of that system to revel in the light and the space and the tree-lined sun-dappled glory of the most beautiful capital city on earth. Wouldn’t we be mad not to promote such a device? It is almost 200 years since one Dennis Johnson of Covent Garden helped introduce the London public to what he called a “pedestrian curricle”. It was a pretty rough ride. The curricle had a heavy wooden frame and the small number of early users suffered hernias or other more serious injuries. There was a brief flurry of interest, and then the curricle was more or less abandoned. But the basic idea has been refined until it gave us the machines of today – technologically in a different world. The bikes of 2014 are vastly better even than the bikes of 20 years ago: lighter, safer, faster, easier to handle and more manoeuvrable, and with gears so ingeniously tuned as to propel us uphill as if by magic carpet. Since London’s topography is broadly flat, and ideal for cycling, it is no wonder that the habit is spreading. Look at the bridges every morning at the rush hour, and you see them in their hordes with their calves like piano legs and arrayed in colours unknown to nature. In the last ten years alone, cycling has trebled. Motor traffic has dropped by one fifth, and cyclists now make up 24 per cent of central London traffic in the morning peak. We are becoming at last a true cycling city; and that is why we need to do more to help, and to do it fast. We want the world on their bike: not just chiselled whippets in lycra. We want a cycling environment that is equally welcoming to women, to families, to pin-striped captains of industry wobbling gently along – the kind of cycle-friendly environment you see in Copenhagen or Amsterdam. There is only one way to create this paradise, and that is to invest massively in making cycling safer. We are making new cycle lanes, new “Quietways” for those who want to avoid the main roads, and now two huge new cycle superhighways are being launched. One will go North-South, from Elephant and Castle to King’s Cross; the other will go east-west – the biggest continuous cycleway in Europe, from Barking to Acton – a Crossrail for the bike. Some are worried about the loss of space for cars. I understand those anxieties and we are confident that we can very largely (if not entirely) address them. And I am very pleased that many businesses – Deloitte, Jones Lang la Salle, Euromoney, the Crown Estates – are actively in favour of the change. They can see the economic boost that goes with less traffic, less pollution and a lovelier urban realm. In the end we need to make a choice about the kind of city we want. I think we should help make cycling safer and more attractive for all. Around the world, wherever this has been tried, there have been those who prophesy bikeageddon. They have been proved wrong. A more bike-friendly city will be a better city all round.