London cycling plans include new East-West Superhighway

Cycle route adds to those already proposed for UK capital

A cyclist uses an existing Cycling Superhighway in London, UK

London mayor Boris Johnson has revealed preliminary plans for a cycle route in the capital, saying in a recent tweet, “I have asked Transport for London for a big new east west route.”


Details are somewhat thin on the ground but perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the plan is the idea of putting a bike route through the very centre of London. Of course, space is at a premium there, and many existing routes simply run out mid-lane.

The new route is planned to run between Bow and Westminster, using some of the Embankment and linking existing Cycle Superhighways, plus one to be launched next year. The estimated timescale for completion is four years.

The idea is quoted as being inspired by road use innovations employed during the capital’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics. A Transport for London spokesperson said, “TfL had been encouraged by the Olympics to think who, among motorists, HGV drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, has priority and at what time of day along the Embankment.’

They added: “Potentially, there are things you can do to change the road physically, and the lesson from the Olympics is you can make an appreciable difference to demand by asking people to use the network differently, such as changing times they travel.”

The outlined East-West Superhighway comes just after the mayor wrote to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin with a request to liberalise restrictive traffic regulations said to be holding back the testing of new techniques for “continental-style road safety”. The latter are thought to include cyclist-only traffic lights. 


It’s hoped more details of the route will be revealed later this month.