London Evening Standard)
London’s Cycle Superhighways are to be rebranded ( Getty Images )
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Cycle superhighways are to be renamed in an attempt to “detoxify” the image and secure support for more bike lanes.
Some people believed they were “motorways for cyclists” and this made it more difficult to build new schemes, such as the proposed CS9 route through Chiswick, according to research for City Hall. Will Norman, the Mayor’s walking and cycling commissioner, said there was a need to rebrand cycling infrastructure to attract more people to get on their bikes and avoid causing undue alarm to others.
Cycle superhighways were introduced by former mayor Boris Johnson as a direct route primarily for commuter cyclists, but some critics believe they attract so-called “Lycra louts” — those who ride aggressively, ignore red lights and endanger pedestrians.
Mr Norman told the Evening Standard: “We need to continue to make the case for cycling. We know there is still an adamant anti-cycling component out there.”
He said new cycle infrastructure, such as the Mini Holland schemes in Waltham Forest, had boosted local shops and improved air quality. “We need to keep that drumbeat of showing the benefits of it,” he said. “It’s not just about people cycling around the city. It’s making the city more successful, more prosperous, and cleaner and healthier for everybody.”
The changes emerged today in Mayor Sadiq Khan’s cycling action plan, which imposes new safety standards for cycle lanes. Mr Norman insists this will lead to more segregated routes than would otherwise have been the case. Transport for London will refuse to fund borough schemes that fail to come up to scratch.
The “quietways” — non-segregated routes on residential streets — and Mini Holland brands are also being discontinued because they left Londoners “horribly confused”. Instead, all new routes — likely to be known simply as “cycleways” — will be assessed on their danger levels, with segregation used where the risk is greatest.
This will relate the speed and volume of surrounding traffic, the space available to cyclists, whether there road is used by HGVs and the number of side junctions.
Mr Norman added: “Not all quietways are quiet and not all superhighways are super. This will result in more segregation across the network.”
Almost £170 million a year for cycling has been safeguarded in the TfL five-year business plan that allocates £2.3 billion — an increase of £100 million — for “healthy streets”.