London's first Quietways to open in May 2015


The Mayor and Transport for London have confirmed that London's first Quietways will open in May 2015. Sustrans has been awarded the contract to help deliver the first Quietways, which it is hoped will give cyclists a direct, pleasant, back-street alternative to busy main roads.

Construction is about to start on the first two routes, which will run from central London to Greenwich and Hackney, with a later extension to Walthamstow.

Five more routes are at the design stage and around two dozen more are due to be delivered or in progress by 2016.

Sustrans has been awarded a three year contract by Transport for London (TfL) to help deliver the £120 million network, in partnership with the local boroughs and other partners whose roads they will use. Every London borough will be served by the Quietways.

The charity will be working with Dutch designers, Royal HaskoningDHV; as well as transport planning consultants Phil Jones Associates and Wheels for Wellbeing.

Transport for London says that "Unlike the old London Cycle Network, Quietways will be direct and clearly signed, mostly on the road itself, making it difficult for cyclists to lose their way. Because they are on lower-traffic roads, they will be largely unsegregated. The main interventions on the vast majority of the network will be way-marking, surfacing improvements where necessary, removing barriers such as chicanes and improving the flow of the route. However, where directness demands the Quietway briefly join a main road, full segregation and direct crossing points will be provided, wherever possible, on that stretch. Quietways will be particularly suited to new cyclists."

London Cycling Campaign welcomes the Quietways in principle, and we congratulate Sustrans on their appointment as delivery partners. London desperately needs routes that are suitable for everyone to cycle, and take people where they want to go. But it’s absolutely essential that these routes are actually ‘quiet’ – the routes must be high-quality, direct, and cater for all cycling abilities, and they must provide safe and convenient passage through junctions. Where the routes use residential roads which often suffer from ‘rat running’ – where vehicles cut through residential areas to reach their destination, rather than using main roads - measures must be taken to reduce high motor traffic volumes or speeds. Consultation with local people will be critical to the success of the Quietways, and we look forward to engaging with Transport for London, Sustrans and the relevant boroughs as early as possible to ensure that these routes provide safe and inviting space for cycling. 

Work on the first route, which will run from Waterloo to Greenwich, is about to start, creating a predominantly backstreet cycling route through Borough, Bermondsey and Deptford. Junctions at major roads will be redesigned to help cyclists and a brand new cycle path created. This will follow the railway line from South Bermondsey station to Surrey Canal Road to the north of Millwall football club (subject to final planning permissions).

Our Local Groups in the relevant areas have been looking closely at the plans.

Read Lewisham Cyclists' response to the consultation on the Lewisham section of Quietway 1 (previously known as Quietway 2)

Read Southwark Cyclists' response to the consultation on the Southwark section of Quietway 1