Boris Johnson Unveils Crossrail For Bikes

Mayor Reveals Plans For Urban Cycleways

05.09.2014

London is to get two new urban cycleways in a measure dubbed 'Crossrail for Bikes'.

Mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled the blueprint for the scheme, which he believes will enable more people to use their bikes to get out and about in the capital, while doing so in greater safety due to them being segregated from motor traffic.

The lanes will be located on the A40 and cover 18 miles of road in the heart of the capital. This will make them the longest segregated bike routes in Europe, with funding for the project coming out of Mr Johnson's £913 million budget to get more Londoners out of their cars and onto bikes.

Commenting on the plans, Mr Johnson said: "Bikes already make up 24 per cent of all rush-hour traffic in central London - hundreds of thousands of journeys every day that would otherwise be made by car or public transport.

"Because this isn't just about cyclists. Getting more people onto their bikes will reduce pressure on the road, bus and rail networks, cut pollution, and improve life for everyone, whether or not they cycle themselves."

Mr Johnson, a keen cyclist himself, has made the use of this form of transport a priority during his time as mayor. The availability of so-called 'Boris Bikes' for hire and blue cycle lanes crossing the capital have been visible features of this policy.

Last week, Transport for London said the number of people riding on the capital's roads had risen by 173 per cent since 2001, with census figures showing the number using bikes to get to work had more than doubled from 77,000 in 2001 to 155,000 ten years later. On some roads, 64 per cent of rush hour traffic is now pedal-powered and the hiring of cycles hit a new record in July with 1.18 million being rented.

TFL also noted that August saw a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in cycling on London roads, but it is planning to do more, announcing a partnership with British Cycling to triple the number of free guided rides across the capital.

Expert Opinion
Encouraging more people to get on their bikes and increasing their safety by segregating them from motor traffic is a positive step. In our work we have seen numerous cases of life-changing injuries and fatalities resulting in vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, being involved in collisions with motor vehicles.

“The new proposals outlined by the mayor of London will hopefully improve the safety of cyclists in London and in general reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities on the capital’s roads. If the proposal goes ahead and the scheme is found to be successful we hope that this will set the standard and encourage similar schemes to be rolled out to other areas of the UK to improve cycling infrastructure and boost road safety.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner