The morning after a cyclist was killed in London, city mayor Boris Johnson opened the first fully segregated section of the Cycle Superhighway network today and announced plans to accelerate the refurbishment of problematic areas of the scheme.
The 62-year-old man was killed in a collision with a dump truck on Mile End Road. His death takes the total number of cyclists killed in London this year to nine.
At today’s launch, Johnson also outlined plans to build a new substantially segregated north-south Cycle Superhighway through central London to compliment the east-west ‘crossrail for bikes’ route announced in March.
The controversial western end of CS2 highway between Bow and Aldgate – subject of a damning coroner’s report following two deaths there – has been prioritised for refurbishment. It will be reopened by the end of 2014. The public consultation process is expected to start in the New Year.
At the opening of the fully segregated eastern CS2 extension between Bow roundabout and Stratford, London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “It’s a poetic piece of Cycle Superhighway to cycle on because we’ve consecrated the space exclusively for cyclists, but I want to stress to Londoners we cannot do that everywhere.
“What we are going to do is expand the Cycle Superhighway system across the city and accelerate it in ways that we think will be for the benefit not just of cyclists but also of pedestrians and motorists as well."
To help complete the redevelopment of the bike highway network, more than 100 extra designers, engineers and traffic modelling specialists will be recruited to generally improve the road network.
Johnson said it was too early to make judgements about yesterday’s fatality – the third on CS2.
“We do look at what the coroner had to say about previous fatalities as we listen to all criticism and all complaints… and we try to improve our cycle superhighways where we can."
Johnson said the number of cyclist’s deaths had been declining over the past 10 years while journeys by bike had increased.