London Cycling Campaign)
- By Fran_Graham on at 3:15pm 23 May 2017
The “London Boulevard” is the run of roads from Old Street to Tottenham Court Road – Old Street, Clerkenwell Road, Theobalds Road, Bloomsbury Way and New Oxford Street.
The route already sees as many people cycling as the Cycle Superhighways, yet the walking and cycling environment is overwhelmingly hostile – polluted, noisy, narrow pavements, and some of the worst junctions for collisions in central London. It’s long overdue improvement.
The Mayor’s plans to reroute buses in the west end, and to remove motor traffic from Oxford Street, underline the pressing need to consider the London Boulevard route now. Key walking and cycling schemes already planned to intersect with the route or pass nearby mean there is a huge opportunity right now to boost active travel in this area. Schemes are planned for Old Street roundabout, on Tottenham Court Road, with the extension of the North-South Cycle Superhighway on Farringdon Road and more.
“The London Boulevard can and should be an exemplar of the Mayor’s new ‘Healthy Streets’ programme. Connecting up with a motor-vehicle free Oxford Street, the London Boulevard will open up a corridor linking Hyde Park to Silicon Roundabout that will showcase London’s determination to be a walking and cycling city. The Mayor, Camden, Islington and TfL should grab the opportunity to make London better in a way that will set an example to capital cities everywhere,” said Ashok Sinha, CEO, London Cycling Campaign.
An iconic “Healthy Street”
The London Boulevard has the potential to be a true “Healthy Street”, where walking and cycling are given appropriate space as the primary modes of transport, where buses are low or zero emission, where freight and deliveries are “consolidated” to reduce vehicle movements and where trees, rest stops and public realm improvements create places to linger, rather than to rush through.
A virtual reality vision of future
LCC has worked with Dutch engineering firm Witteveen + Bos UK Ltd to create realistic junction and route designs, taking into account current transport usage and traffic conditions, and have rendered one of the designs in virtual reality. People will have the chance to don the cutting-edge Oculus Rift headset and experience this key junction on the London Boulevard as it could be one day soon at Clerkenwell Design Week.