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Mayor launches £913 million bicycling plan for London

A £913 million (US$1.37 billion) plan to revolutionize cycling in London has been announced by the capital’s mayor, Boris Johnson. Saying he wanted to “de-Lycrafy cycling”, Johnson outlined plans for a 24km (15 miles) cycle route from the western suburbs to Canary Wharf in Docklands and Barking in east London. The route will include ‘Dutch-style’ fully segregated cycle tracks along the Victoria embankment, the Westway flyover and other places. Under the plan, a range of new cycle routes will open over the next four years parallel to and named after Tube lines and bus routes.

The plans will include: a new network of ‘Quietways’, which will be direct, continuous, fully signposted routes on peaceful side streets, running far into the suburbs, and aimed at those that dislike cycling in traffic; better segregation between bikes and other vehicles; improvements to existing ‘superhighway’ bus routes; improvements to junctions deemed the least safe for cyclists, including Blackfriars, Vauxhall and Elephant & Castle; encouraging more out-of-hours deliveries by trucks to improve cyclist safety; 20mph (32km/h) speed limits for all traffic on some cycle routes; and an electric bike hire scheme, similar to the existing Barclays Cycle Hire, will be trialed.

A keen cyclist, Johnson said, “I want to de-Lycrafy cycling. I want to make it normal, something for everyone, something you feel comfortable doing in your ordinary clothes. Our new routes will give people the confidence to get in the saddle. I do not promise perfection, or that London will become Amsterdam any time soon. But what I do say is that this plan marks a profound shift in my ambitions and intentions for the bicycle. It is my belief that helping cycling will not just help cyclists. It will create better places for everyone. It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich. It means more seats on the Tube, less competition for a parking place and fewer cars in front of yours at the lights. Above all, it will fulfill my aim of making London’s air cleaner.”

March 8, 2013

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