Mayor of London confirms doubling of protected cycle routes

24 May 2019
  • 116km kilometers of protected cycle lanes are now complete or under construction across London
  • Mayor confirms new ‘quality criteria’ for all TfL-funded routes in keynote policy speech
  • Sadiq praises councils leading the way on road safety, while condemning those ‘wedded to the status quo.’
  • Major improvements around Bloomsbury and St Pancras now complete - providing benefits for walking and cycling


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will today announce that in just 3 years since he became Mayor in 2016 he has doubled the amount of protected cycling infrastructure built in the capital, describing it as a major delivery milestone’ in enabling more cycling in the capital.


Giving the keynote address at the London Walking & Cycling conference at the Guildhall today, the Mayor will announce that 116km kilometers of protected cycle lanes are now complete or under construction in London, a big increase on the 53km of protected cycle infrastructure that was in place when he became Mayor 3 years ago. 


In his speech to key policy makers the Mayor will say that progress on cycling infrastructure was a ‘Tale of Two Cities’, as he praised the work of councils like Enfield, Hackney, Camden, Waltham Forest and City of London Corporation in building high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure, while doubling down on criticism of boroughs like Westminster whose addiction to the status quo is ‘harming the health of Londoners.’


The Mayor will say that with the support from those boroughs ‘who share our vision’, he was on course to meet the commitment he made to London Cycling Campaign to treble the amount of protected space delivered for cycling across the capital by May 2020 - helping improve London’s air quality and tackle our inactivity crisis.


The Mayor will reiterate his commitment to TfL’s new ‘quality criteria’ saying TfL will not build or fund new routes that aren’t up to scratch. This follows confirmation that TfL will move away from Quietway and Superhighway branding to new ‘cycleways’, which will be high quality routes ‘for cyclists of all ages, all abilities and from all walks of life’.


Despite pressures on its budgets, the Mayor increased funding for ‘Healthy Streets’ funding in TfL’s last business plan from £2.2bn to more than £2.3bn.


Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:


“I said before the election that I wanted to increase the pace of change building new cycling infrastructure. I’m delighted that in just 3 years we have achieved more than the last Mayor did in 8 years, already doubling the amount of protected cycle routes on streets across London.


“I want to now deliver even more high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure across all parts of the capital, but even with record investment from the TfL we can’t achieve that on our own. Boroughs across London must recognise the huge benefits of getting more people out of their cars and cycling as part of their everyday routine – getting more people active, improving their health, and reducing the air pollution on our streets which causes so much harm.”  


The Mayor and TfL have today also confirmed the completion this week of vital improvements around Bloomsbury and St Pancras, with TfL and Camden Council having completed the transformation of the junction at Euston Road, Judd Street and Midland Road – providing major safety benefits for people walking and cycling, with new pedestrian crossings and protected space for people on bikes.


The improvements include new crossings, the closure of Judd Street to motor traffic at the Euston Road junction, and new segregated cycle tracks that fill in the ‘missing link’ for safe cycling between Cycleway Superhighway 6 (King’s Cross to Elephant and Castle) and Royal College Street, Camden and Kentish Town.


GLA analysis shows that if every Londoner walked or cycled for 20 minutes a day, it would save the NHS £1.7bn in treatment costs over the next 25 years. This includes 85,000 fewer people being treated for hip fractures, 19,200 fewer people suffering from dementia, and an estimated 18,800 fewer Londoners suffering from depression.


Fran Graham, Campaigns Coordinator, London Cycling Campaign, said:


“The Mayor and TfL are to be applauded for having doubled the provision of protected space for cycling on main roads, meaning they need to build 43km more in order to fulfil his pledge to our members and all Londoners to triple the mileage of protected space by the next election. With less than a year to go, it’s vitally important they, and particularly the boroughs, pull out all the stops to deliver the cycling network Londoners deserve and need to ensure the city can keep moving sustainably and healthily.”


Cllr Feryal Demirci, Deputy Mayor of Hackney, said:


“Hackney has higher cycling rates than any other borough in London, but we need to make cycling even more accessible for everyone across the capital. One of the most important ways we can do that is by introducing more protected cycle routes that make it easier for people to start. I welcome the Mayor of London’s announcement today.”


Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden said:


“The heart of our new Camden Transport Strategy is to encourage healthy, active travel and providing better access around the borough and beyond.


“Our aim is to increase the level of walking, cycling and public transport use and also reduce car dependency in order to address the urgent problems of congestion, road danger, poor air quality, carbon emissions and climate change, through a ‘Healthy Streets’ approach.


“The Judd Street/Midland Road project is a good example of the strategy in practice and also the benefits of our joint working with Transport for London.”


Notes to editors


The amount of protected space delivered since May 2016 is made up from:

  • 20km in the Superhighways programme
  • 5km in the Quietways & Central London Grid programme
  • 21 km in the mini-Holland programme
  • 17km from other schemes, such as Stratford High Street, Highbury Corner and Westminster Bridge South

Some of the progress over the last 6 months includes:

  • New segregated cycle lanes have been opened at Highbury Corner, which is no longer a roundabout, having been converted to two way working.
  • Work is complete at Judd Street / Midland Road, enabling cyclist to cross Euston Road safely at this location.
  • Work has finished at Stratford High Street, with new segregated cycle lanes complete
  • TfL has started construction on a new cycle route between Acton and Wood Lane and launched a major consultation on extending the route, which would be fully segregated, to Notting Hill Gate via Shepherd’s Bush and Holland Park.


Looking ahead, construction work is proposed to begin this summer on Cycleway 4 in south east London and Cycleway 9 in west London.


TfL and our borough partners are working towards consultations on more cycle routes between:

  • Ilford and Barking Riverside – consultation on first section 2019
  • Dalston and Lea Bridge Road - consultation in 2019
  • Rotherhithe and Peckham - consultation in 2019
  • Camden and Tottenham Hale – consultation in late 2019 / 2020
  • Greenwich to Woolwich – consultation in late 2019 / 2020
  • Wembley and Willesden – consultation on first section by 2021





Where high-quality cycling infrastructure is built it is invariably hugely successful in enabling more people to cycle. 


In Whitechapel, cycling is up 53 per cent since our segregated cycle lanes were built. On Blackfriars Road, we’ve seen a 124 per cent increase.

And on Lower Thames Street, there has been a 200 per cent increase in the number of people cycling. The same stretch of road is now moving many more people, much more efficiently. Air quality is in fact also improving.


Quietways are also popular routes, with 24,000 people using Quietway 2 in the first week after opening alone. Along some sections of the route, 43 per cent of road users were cyclists.

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