Mayor: new bike routes would give safe cycle access to a million more

08 February 2016

Londoners are today (8 February) asked for their views on a major package of cycling, pedestrian and road improvements, including reducing through traffic in Regent's Park, new cycle links between north and south London, a segregated cycle track on the Westway flyover and action to speed up many car journeys on the A40.


Detailed proposals in a public consultation which begins today would allow cyclists to travel on segregated tracks or low-traffic roads from Acton and Swiss Cottage to central London, Elephant & Castle and Canary Wharf, opening up vast new areas of London for safer cycling.


Pedestrians would benefit from less traffic in Regents Park, created by new restrictions to remove most through traffic from the Outer Circle. Motorists would still be able to drive to any point on the Outer Circle and the Inner Circle at all times, but it would be less attractive for through traffic to use the park as a rat-run.


There would also be a new public space at Swiss Cottage created by the removal of the five-lane gyratory.


The Westway proposals for the A40 also tackle the traffic pinchpoint at Savoy Circus, with new roadspace for motorists. This would improve westbound journeys by car, which would become quicker than now.


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: "Almost one million more Londoners will be given easy access to safe cycling routes under these plans. That's vital if we are to meet the challenge of London's population boom.


"With schemes already in progress across London, these new proposals will create a complete network reaching north, south, east and west. By careful planning we have also been able to deliver a balance of benefits for pedestrians and motorists."


The proposals are for a new cycle superhighway route and the extension of two cycle superhighway routes currently under construction. The extensions, to the East-West and North-South superhighways, were consulted on in principle and approved by the public in 2014. This consultation is on the detail.


The new route is Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11), which would run from Swiss Cottage to the West End via Avenue Road, the Outer Circle of Regent's Park and Portland Place. The proposals include the removal of Swiss Cottage gyratory and the creation of a new public space in front of Swiss Cottage library.


The Outer Circle of Regent's Park would be closed to most through traffic with access restrictions at North Gate (Macclesfield Bridge), York Gate, Park Square East Gate and Park Square West Gate, meaning that it would be less attractive to use it as a north-south rat-run route. Gloucester, Hanover and Clarence Gates would remain open, allowing anyone to drive to any point on the Outer Circle.


Through traffic would still be allowed, and all gates would be opened to vehicles, between 11am and 3pm daily. The proposals have been drawn up with The Royal Parks and key park stakeholders in a discussion process lasting almost two years.


South of Regent's Park, CS11 would run on Park Crescent and finish on Portland Place near the BBC. The consultation on this section includes two options on Portland Place, for segregated tracks or no segregation, which are subject to further discussion with Westminster City Council.


Proposals for the northern section of CS11, on the Finchley Road north of Swiss Cottage, will be consulted on at a later date.


The North-South Cycle Superhighway extension would take the existing North-South route, which is already under construction between Elephant & Castle and the City, from its current northern terminus at Stonecutter Street (just north of Ludgate Circus) to King's Cross.


The route from Stonecutter Street to King's Cross was consulted on in outline in September 2014, and is now being consulted on in detail. Part of the route would be on segregated tracks on Farringdon Road. Where the road is too narrow for segregated tracks, the route would use quiet and direct back-streets.


The new route would link via Camden Council's Tavistock Place cycle track to Bloomsbury and the West End. It would also link, via Camden Town, to the new CS11 route using proposed and existing segregated tracks along Midland Road, Pancras Road, Royal College Street, Pratt Street and Delancey Street to join the Outer Circle.


Once all potential links are complete, cyclists would be able to ride from Swiss Cottage and Camden Town to Canary Wharf, Barking or Elephant & Castle entirely on separated cycle tracks or low-traffic streets.


The East-West Cycle Superhighway extension would take the existing route, which is already under construction between Tower Hill and Craven Road, near Paddington, on to the Westway flyover at Westbourne Bridge. The alignment from Paddington to Acton was consulted on in outline in September 2014, and is now being consulted on in detail.


The new cycle track would take up one of the six existing traffic lanes on the flyover between Westbourne Bridge and Wood Lane, White City. It would be separated from traffic by a concrete barrier topped with a glass panel totalling 1.8m in height. The flyover is well suited to a segregated cycle route because there are no buses, pedestrians, turnings, junctions, parking or kerbside loading.


The cycle track would continue on the surface section of the A40 west of Wood Lane as far as Kathleen Avenue, with the potential for future high-quality link routes to Shepherds Bush, Harlesden, Wembley, Acton and Ealing town centres, the major employment centre of Park Royal, and linking the new mayoral opportunity area at Old Oak Common.


A bike journey from Westbourne Bridge to Gypsy Corner would take around 18 minutes on the new route, faster than most other means of transport.


No traffic lanes will be removed on the surface section of the A40. At Savoy Circus, a bottleneck where the A40 narrows from three lanes to two, a proposal to improve capacity at Savoy Circus has been included to reduce the existing tailbacks. This will make westbound journeys, away from central London, between six and eight minutes quicker in the busiest evening rush hour.


Eastbound journeys to central London at the busiest hour of the morning peak, from Gyspy Corner into Edgware Road/ Marylebone Road, would take between one and two minutes longer and Gypsy Corner into Westbourne Bridge/ Paddington would take between four and six minutes longer. The increases would be more than balanced by the reductions in the westbound direction for those making return trips.


The new routes reflect the fact that cycling into central London has trebled in 15 years. Around a quarter of all vehicles on the roads in the centre in the morning rush hour are now bikes, while car use has fallen sharply. If the trends of the last 15 years continue, the number of people commuting into central London by bike will overtake the number of people commuting by car in a few years. Around 645,000 journeys a day are made by bike in the capital, up ten per cent on last year.


Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: "Cycling in London is becoming more popular by the day and our proposed Cycle Superhighways would keep London's roads in gear with the trend. The Capital would become the European city for cycling, not just for the seasoned pros, but for everyone.


"By providing these safer direct routes across the city the roads can support a growing and changing London. We look forward to hearing the views from Londoners and visitors to the city about these transformational plans."


Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “We’re very pleased the proposed North-South cycle route to King’s Cross includes Islington.  We’ve worked hard with Camden and TfL to develop this safer route for cyclists, which will be of great benefit to local residents and visitors.  We look forward to hearing responses to the consultation and encourage people to take part.”


The consultation opens today and will close on March 20. The public can respond to the East-West, North-South and Cycle Superhighway 11 consultations here:

Notes to editors

Notes for editors:

  • Images and maps of the proposals are available from the Mayor of London’s press office via the contact details below.


MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Press information is available by emailing [email protected] or calling 020 7983 4070.
GENERAL PUBLIC/NON-MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Call the Public Liaison Unit at the Greater London Authority on 020 7983 4100
DUTY PRESS OFFICER: For out-of-hours media enquiries, please call 020 7983 400