Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced that “Europe’s longest substantially-segregated city cycle route,” or Crossrail for the Bike as it is being called, will open to the public on 30th April.
Cyclists will soon be able to travel a distance of just under 12 miles, entirely on traffic-free segregated tracks or low traffic streets,” spanning “from Westminster to Blackfriars, the City, Tower Hill, Canary Wharf and Barking.”
Further construction is still underway to extend the route beyond Westminster to Lancaster Gate and Paddington. The delay to this section largely stems from much later local agreement on the project which was only reached in August.
The Mayor of London announced the completion date exactly three years after the project was launched.
Describing the progress which has been made, Boris Johnson said: “In 2013 I stood on this very spot on the Embankment and promised that we would soon behold a magnificent cycle superhighway. Many doubted it would ever get beyond the artist’s impression. A noisy minority fought hard to stop it happening.”
However, with the cycle lane almost ready for public use, Boris also took the opportunity to apologise for the inconvenience to motorists affected by the construction works on the Embankment. He thanked “them for their patience in putting up with it” – adding that “the end is now in sight.”
Using the announcement, the Mayor also took the opportunity to illustrate the city wide benefits of segregated cycle superhighways, using the example of “The Vauxhall superhighway.”
The Vauxhall superhighway traverses both Vauxhall Bridge and Vauxhall cross, one of the capital’s most intimidating gyratories. The highway, which opened in November, comprises a two-way protected cycle track vital to cyclists accessing South London.
Transport for London (TfL) found that 3,394 cyclists a day crossed Vauxhall bridge during peak morning and evening periods. By comparison, before the cycle track opened only 1,967 cyclists per day were observed taking the same journey – representing an increase of 73%.
As part of “before and after” journey time monitoring for the Vauxhall superhighway, TfL found that “on five of the six main road approaches to Vauxhall, journey times in the morning peak are now back to what they were before the cycle superhighway works started – or are quicker than before.”