London Mayor Boris Johnson has just announced 19 July as the launch date for the first two Cycle Superhighways that will link Merton to the City and Barking to Tower Gateway.
Of the remaining Cycle Superhighways, four will be completed by October 2012 and the remaining six by 2015. The assessment process has now started on the next two proposed routes, from Ilford to Aldgate and Wandsworth Town to Westminster.
The announcement comes in the wake of a road transport group expressing concerns about safety along the Merton to City route. Brewery Logisitics Group have calculated they deliver to some 58 pubs along that particular route.
BLG chairman Mike Bracey explained their specific concerns: “These pubs have got to be serviced at least once a week. While the vehicles are unloading – sometimes for as long as 40 minutes – they will be blocking the blue cycle superhighways lanes. Cyclists won’t expect to see an HGV blocking their path, and for the less savvy ones, it is an accident waiting to happen.”
There has also been criticism of the capacity of the superhighways to cope with the increasing number of cyclists in the capital – cycling levels are up 14% since Johnson was elected in May 2008.
Chris Peck, CTC policy coordinator commented: “It is amazing that in London the Cycle Superhighways are being built to a design minimum of 1.5 metres wide, yet on some of these routes there are already more than 13,000 cyclists a day, meaning lots of cyclists overtaking other cyclists and the potential for two people to want to cycle next to each other. A measly 1.5m doesn’t give the chance to do that – 2m might, but a nice Dutch 2.5m certainly would.”
The cycling superhighways announcement from Transport for London also summarised other cycle events and developments over the summer:
- The Cycle Challenge, a web-based mile-tallying challenge that runs every year during the month of June. You can register now here
- London Cycle Hire scheme launching on Friday 30th July 2010
- The return of the Mayor’s Skyride