A new dawn for cyclists in London

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Pic: Ve Perryman. Mary, a hairdresser from Hackney is enthusiastic about proposed development of cycle superhighway, but is upset that Hackney is again missed out.

That the planned cycle superhighway recently announced by Mayor Boris Johnson will not pass through Hackney was received by local residents with mixed responses according to a recent survey.

Public consultation for the project which involves the construction of a 21 mile route for the exclusive use of cyclist to run north-south from Elephant & Castle to Kings Cross and east-west from Barking to Acton starts today. 

Protected cycle routes will be created through dangerous junctions and connections will be created to cycle routes servicing other parts of the City, West End and suburbs.  The proposed Riverside cycle track on Victoria Embankment would also mean that cyclists here would not need to cross side roads.  Furthermore, investment will be in advanced signal technology, which allows better management of traffic depending on differing conditions at any time.  The interests of local businesses and freight operators will also be catered for too.

Boris Johnson in his praise of the scheme, said that its benefits extends far beyond the interests of cyclists because: ‘Getting more people on 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.’  Leon Daniels, the managing director of Surface Transport at TfL, said that these Cycle Superhighways will transform London into a continental-style ‘cycle-tropolis for riders of all ages’.

However opinion amongst Hackney residents was varied – Bob who has lived in Hackney for 16 years welcomes the idea but doubts its viability considering the intensity of London traffic.  Mary is a hairdresser and a cyclist, she supports the idea but laments that Hackney is not covered by the scheme.  The most enthusiastic supporter of the project is Karen Moyinham, who works as a Lollipop woman in Kingsland road and her job involves stopping traffic to let school children cross the road. She was very critical of cyclists because many of them would ignore instructions to stop to let children pass.

Construction work on the project will start early next year and the routes will open in March 2016.

For more information on all routes covered, see the TfL website

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