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London To Get New Cycling Superhighway

21 Oct 2015, 2:44 PM

Plans for a controversial new cycling superhighway across London are set to go ahead after six out of those taking part in a consultation backed the scheme.

Transport for London (TfL) says Cycle Superhighway 11 – or CS11 – will link Swiss Cottage, in the borough of Camden, with the city’s West End.

The capital already has six such paths, with two more currently under construction.

They enable cyclists to ride their bikes without having to give way to or share lanes with motor vehicles by adapting the existing highway infrastructure.

Supporters say they increase road safety and persuade more people to take to two wheels, thereby cutting pollution and congestion, as well as leading to an increase in people getting regular exercise.

But not everybody is in favour. Campaigner David Howard has enlisted more than 4,000 signatures on a petition against what he described as a “catastrophically ill-planned” project.

“This scheme, if allowed to go ahead, will adversely affect local residents, and public transport users in Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage, Avenue Road, Regent’s Park, St John’s Wood, Baker Street and all surrounding areas by causing total gridlock on the roads and increased air pollution to all the affected areas as a result.”
Mayor Sadiq Khan said the population as a whole benefits from making access to cycling as wide as possible.

“Cycle Superhighway 11 will play an important role improving the quality of our toxic air, improving Londoners’ health, and make thousands more people feel comfortable cycling,” he said.

“It will link cycling routes in central London to North West London through Camden, making it safer for local people of all ages and backgrounds to make cycling a part of their everyday lives.”

However, he said it was important to heed the lessons learned during the planning and building of the existing schemes.

He is asking TfL to ensure that inconvenience is kept to a minimum both while the superhighway is being built and after it is opened.

Mr Khan has promised to enhance London’s reputation as a world class cycle-friendly city, continuing the efforts made by his predecessor, Boris Johnson.

It is estimated that 645,000 cycle journeys are made in the capital every day and the number of cyclists commuting to work has tripled since the turn of the century.

Paul Henderson, a personal injury specialist at Macks Solicitors in Middlesbrough and a keen cyclist, welcomed the announcement.

“Anything that encourages people to ride to work and reduces the number of cars and buses on our congested roads is a step in the right direction.

“Dedicated cycle routes can also make a welcome contribution to reducing accidents, as well as increasing the general health and wellbeing of the population.

“I’d love to see local authorities on Teesside come up with some equally progressive and ambitious proposals.

“However, I fear we could be waiting a long time before cyclists are offered this kind of facility in our area.”

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