Saturday, November 25th 2017
Cycle usage has grown massively in London since the introduction of the congestion charge in 2003 – on the current trajectory, cycle use in central London during the morning peak will soon overtake use of private motor vehicles – and Transport for London expects this growth to continue. TfL’s new business plan for 2017–2023 estimates that cycle use will grow by another 45 percent.
The plan states how, over the next five years, TfL will deliver the Mayor’s Transport Strategy to reduce reliance on the car, tackle air pollution and change the face of the travel in London so that more than 80 percent of journeys are made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041.
From 2018 TfL loses a £700m annual governent grant to support operating costs. Nevertheless it plans to spend £1.1bn on its Healthy Streets programme, which aims to increase walking, cycling and use of public transport. The flagship part of this programme is the planned pedestrianisation of Oxford Street. Without stating how it’s going to do this on the shopping street, the plan claims “we will make it easier and safer to walk and cycle, improve air quality, reduce noise pollution and create one of the world’s finest public spaces for years to come.” There are fears that cycling will be prohibited, with cyclists diverted via parallel routes instead.
The plan says TfL will be “funding eight new Cycle Superhighways and transforming major junctions like Waterloo IMAX, Old Street roundabout, [and] Lambeth Bridge.”
TfL also says that it owns the “most strategically important five per cent of London’s streets” and that on these roads it will “make the city more appealing to live in and visit by tackling the problems of car dependency and traffic dominance.”
It will also “continue to build a network of cycle Quietways, the Central London Cycle Grid, Cycle Superhighways and Mini-Hollands in Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest.”
The plan adds “we intend to make London a byword for cycling around the world, so in addition to the existing eight Cycle Superhighway routes, we have begun construction work on phase 2 of the North-South Cycle Superhighway. This will be followed by the implementation of Cycle Superhighway routes 4, 9, 10 and 11. The plan also makes provision for the design of four new routes to ensure we sustain a long-term programme of high-quality cycling infrastructure, along with safer and more attractive public spaces.”
TfL will be introducing 500 of the Pashley-built “Sadiq Cycles” for every year until 2023 but it is expecting only a “modest rise in cycle hire use.”