Bicycle motorways planned for London11/02/2008 News
But cyclists wonder whether the new £400m routes, leaked in The Guardian at the weekend, could be the start of enforced segregation.
CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Roger Geffen said: “Aiming to get people to cycle for ten percent of round trips is a fantastically ambitious proposal from the Mayor and will revolutionise life in the Capital. With so many free bikes to hire, and major cycle-ways to get you in to town and back quickly and safely, it’ a wonder that anyone wouldn’t want to cycle.”
“If the Mayor achieves this, then the only thing left to crack is the minority of inconsiderate and aggressive drivers who still think the road is for them alone.”
Responding to the leak, Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “I think separating out cyclists can only be good for everyone and the only provision I would raise is that we still need to have roads for the movement of trucks, cars and buses – so we need to make sure we get the balance right.”
King is pro-car, naturally, but he’s also an urban realist: he rides a Brompton.
The Guardian reported that: “London is likely to become one of the most cycle-friendly places in the world, with a series of two-wheeler superhighways cutting a swath through traffic and congestion.
“At a cost of £400m, the 12 routes are intended to be the motorways of cycling and are likely to be emulated by other cities across the UK. Londoners without bikes will be able to use one of the city’s free bicycles.”
There’s no Velib-style scheme yet although a number of companies are pitching for a contract that could see 40,000 easy-to-hire rental bikes on the streets of London. On 14th February, BikeBiz.com will carry news of a new scheme that could go some way to ‘filling in the gaps’, called for by cycle-to-rail campaigners.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone said:
“We want nothing short of a cycling transformation in London. We are announcing the biggest investment in cycling in London’s history, which will mean that thousands more Londoners can cycle in confidence, on routes that take them quickly and safely to where they want to go.”
The TfL press release follows:
Mayor unveils programme to transform cycling and walking in London
The Mayor of London today announced the most ambitious programme to transform walking and cycling in London’ history. The package of measures will create a new network of quick, simple, and safe routes for cyclists and pedestrians that will change the profile and priority of walking and cycling on London’s streets.
With the introduction of a central London bike hire scheme with 6,000 bikes available every 300 metres, cycling will be accessible to many more Londoners and will become a fully-funded part of the public transport network for the first time. There will also be new commuter cycle routes from inner and outer London and cycle zones around urban town centres.
These radical measures, which will ensure the needs of cyclists and pedestrians are given a higher priority on the Capital’ streets will make a significant contribution to tackling climate change, aiming to have one in ten round trips in London each day made by bike, and saving some 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent to driving round the M25 55 million times) per year as Londoners increasingly choose to walk or cycle for short trips instead of taking their car.
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said:
“The aim of this programme is nothing short of a cycling and walking transformation in London. We will spend something like £500 million over the next decade on cycling – the biggest investment in cycling in London’s history, which will mean that thousands more Londoners can cycle in confidence, on routes that take them quickly and safely to where they want to go.
“The cycle hire scheme in Paris has proved a huge success, and I have now instructed Transport for London to work with the London boroughs and interested parties to develop and implement a bike hire scheme in central London, accessible to all Londoners. By ensuring that Londoners have easy access to bikes in the centre of the capital, as well as making our city a safer and more enjoyable place to cycle, we will build upon London’ leading position as the only major world city to have achieved a switch from private car use to public transport, cycling and walking.
“Over 50 per cent of tube journeys in central london are quicker on foot. The new Legible London signage system will help people use their feet to get around and see more of London at the same time.
“The expansion of cycling and walking will help reduce our impact on climate change and reduce traffic congestion. Around 20% of the carbon emissions savings we’ve calculated we can make from transport by 2025 will come from changing the way we travel. We know Londoners want the opportunity to walk and cycle more. One in two people say that they want to walk for short journeys where they currently use their car. Forty per cent of Londoners have access to a bike, but currently only one in eight use it regularly”.
The five new programmes are:
· A Central London bike hire scheme, similar to the recently launched Paris scheme, with up to 6,000 bikes located across docking stations every 300m so Londoners and visitors have quick and easy access to a bike. This will be supported by a series of easily navigable routes so that people can enjoy London’ sights by bike.
· Around a dozen radial Cycling Corridors for commuters to provide high-profile, easy to follow cycling streams into central London.
· The creation of a series of Bike Zones for shoppers and the school run in Inner and Outer London, with cycle priority streets, 20mph speed limits and quick, clear and simple routes that link key local destinations and open parks and waterways for cyclists.
· The expansion of the Legible London signage system to help people make short trips around the capital on foot, rather than driving, or taking the bus and tube.
· Working with the London Boroughs on the establishment of 200 Streets of Gold â€“ urban makeovers which link key local destinations like stations, schools and shops in inner and outer London with high quality walking facilities, delivering improved pavements, seating and crossings alongside regeneration measures.
TfL will be consulting with the London boroughs, and walking, cycling and health stakeholders to define and develop the detailed plans for these initiatives.
The new programmes are in addition to existing commitments, which will continue the investment in projects including cycle training, cycle parking, the greenway programme, and the London Cycle network Plus, as well as funding for a bigger and better London Freewheel, the summer mass bike ride for cyclists of all abilities, for at least 60,000 participants this year.
Jenny Jones, Green Party member of the London Assembly, said:
“These plans for promoting cycling and walking are more ambitious than anything which has been tried before in this country, but they are exactly what we need to persuade large numbers of Londoners out of their cars. Both the bike hire scheme, and the setting up of the Legible London system, are big new initiatives which build on the existing projects and complement other proposals, such as 20mph default limits and getting rid of big one-way systems. A year ago, I asked Transport for London to come up with a plan that would transform the experience of cycling, walking and everyday living in London. That is what they have delivered”
David Brown, Managing Director, Surface Transport, TfL, said:
“With London’ population set to grow and the need to promote sustainable transport we must do all we can to make cycling and walking a viable transport choice for Londoners and visitors.”
“Recent record levels of investment and measures like the Congestion Charge and bus/cycle lanes have already changed the way we get around in London. The London Cycle Network Plus, 40,000 new cycle parking spaces and the Legible London pilot have been great steps forward in improving facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. We need to accelerate progress to ensure we make it much easier and much safer to choose to walk and cycle and to further reduce dependency on the car.”
The programme’s aim is that by 2025 five per cent of all daily trips are made by bike – 1.7 million in total, and that 22 per cent are made on foot. TfL will also be increasing and improving cycle parking provision at Overground, London Underground and DLR stations, and working with Train Operating Companies to increase cycle parking at mainline rail stations so that Londoners will be able to switch between cycling and public transport very easily.
Notes to editors
1. These proposals are the recommendations from the strategic review of cycling and walking undertaken by Transport for London as a result of last years budget agreement letter from the London Mayor to Assembly Members Darren Johnson and Jenny Jones.
2. Bike hire in central London
TfL has been working with the boroughs and the Royal Parks to examine the feasibility of a bike hire scheme in central London. The Mayor is now instructing TfL to work with the boroughs and interested parties to develop and implement a bike hire scheme in central London.
Phased implementation within the first Mayoral term, with earliest delivery date of summer 2010.
Implementation will start with about 6000 bikes available at docking stations every 300m and at key destinations such as railway stations and major attractions.
A free period of use will encourage higher take up.
Approximately £75 million will be invested over ten years .We’d hope some of this could be met through sponsorship and revenue raised through the scheme.
3. Cycling corridors for commuters into central London
Around a dozen easily accessible routes into central London, aligned with known key cycle flows, the LCN+ and bus lanes
· New cyclists won’t need to struggle with a map, as high-profile, clear signage guides them on, through and off the corridor
· Improved safety for all cyclists due to large cycle flows along these corridors, delivering streams of bikes into Central London
· First corridor in place and other key routes defined by 2009
· Based on Aylesbury’ â€˜Gemstone’ routes which delivered a 25% increase in cycling levels in less than two years
TfL will be consulting with the London boroughs, and walking, cycling and health stakeholders to define and develop the plans. ·
4. Bike Zones for short trips to shops, schools and work in inner and outer London
· A package of measures that will help people make the choice to use their bikes for local trips, rather than their cars
· Zones will cover a 5km radius around town centres, with 20mph speed limits on all appropriate roads, cycle priority streets where cars give-way to bikes, greenways, and a clearly signed network of cycle-friendly routes, linking schools, stations, residential areas and workplaces
· Delivered through partnership with the Boroughs, local community groups, and local businesses â€“ the first in place by 2010
· Communicated through public cycle counters, and maps distributed through local shops and direct to homes
· Modelled on Cycling England’ successful Cycling Demonstration Towns
TfL will be consulting with the London boroughs, and walking, cycling and health stakeholders to define and develop the plans.
5. Expansion of Legible London â€“ the first comprehensive pedestrian wayfinding system to help people navigate London
· An on-street signage and information system to help people find their way for short trips which they currently don’t know how to make on foot
· Currently being piloted in Bond Street Legible London will be rolled out to key Central London locations and the Olympics area by 2012, with major town centres covered by 2015
6. Streets of Gold â€“ 200 premium walking areas, linking key local destinations such as stations, schools and shops in Inner and Outer London.
·TfL will be consulting with the London boroughs, and walking, cycling and health stakeholders to define and develop the plans.
Around a 1/4 mile2 catchment area connecting shops, schools, stations. Urban makeovers will deliver safe, vibrant areas that are more welcoming for pedestrians and make people want to walk rather than take their car
· Better infrastructure provision and design for pedestrians will be compliment with regeneration measures and promote walking as a way of getting around
· Driven through Borough delivery and local community involvement
7. As well as these, an on-line cycle information service will be established to help Londoners make the decision to cycle and continue doing so.
8. To improve rail and cycle integration TfL will deliver over 850 additional places at suburban London Underground, Overground and DLR stations over the next two years. TfL will also work with train operating companies to deliver 400 more spaces at suburban rail stations, building on 1,300 spaces already delivered at 100 stations. In Central London TfL is working with the private sector to deliver parking stations at London Bridge, Kings Cross and Stratford.
9. Cycling levels have already raised by 83 per cent compared to 2000, and the growth that the programmes aim to achieve would see a 400 per cent increase in cycling levels by 2025 compared to that time.
10. To begin implementation of these new programmes, the planned budget for walking and cycling in 2008/09 is £62m, a £10million increase on finding in 2007/08, and a fivefold increase on the £13 million spent in 2001/02. £63m has been committed for 2009/10.
11. These projects will be developed through working with the boroughs and walking, cycling and health stakeholders
12. There are currently an estimated 480,000 cycle journeys each day in the capital. This is an 83 per cent increase compared with 2000. The Mayor’ previous target was an 80 per cent increase by 2010. There are currently an estimated 5.7m walking journeys each day in London.
13. This investment in cycling and walking adds to the list of commitments to securing London’s position as the leading ‘green’ city as outlined in the Mayor’s budget proposals for the next financial year. These include the promotion of 20mph speed limits, the re-design of public space, maintaining the greenway budget and pledging £600k towards the Green Grid, expanding and connecting East London’s green places.
14. Today the Mayor today signed Walk21′s International Charter for Walking, which commits to reducing the physical, social and institutional barriers that limit walking activity, and as a means to encourage other cities to adopt a similar vision to London’s: which is for London to be one of the most walkable cities in the world within 10 years.