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People cycling on a protected cycle lane (cycle superhighway)

Boroughs told to plan for cycling

The Mayor’s London Plan has good new guidance expecting boroughs to safeguard land for walking, wheeling and cycling

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Planning guidance gets good

Just as the Mayor’s Transport Strategy is the document that sets the tone for what happens on London’s roads, the Mayor’s London Plan sets the tone for what happens with London’s buildings (and indeed any area off the public highway).

The London Plan already, as well as setting stuff like housing targets per borough, had good guidance on stuff like how much car and cycle parking to build per dwelling. But the new “Sustainable Transport, Walking and Cycling” guidance from TfL now adds in several useful obligations on boroughs.

The new guidance tells the capital’s boroughs to define their planned cycle network and ‘safeguard’ the land needed to deliver that network in the future. So, for example, if a new hotel is being built, the developer will need to ensure that land needed for a future cycle lane adjoining the development is not encroached upon.

Not just routes

The guidance spells out the principle for boroughs: “Development Plans should identify and make provision for current and future needs for cycling – including protecting and improving existing cycle routes.” The guidance also tells boroughs: “They should identify suitable locations and requirements for cycling facilities such as cycle parking” and “identify and make provision for local cycle links that connect to, and complement, the Strategic Cycle Network.” (The network as defined by TfL in its Strategic Cycling Analysis of key routes across the capital, handily mapped by Camden Cycling Campaign as Figure 4.4 here.)

We understand from TfL that boroughs will be asked to address the new guidance in their annual Local Implementation Plan, or LIP, bids for funding going forward (with the likelihood that those boroughs that ignore the guidance risk missing out on funding).

We are pleased to see that an LCC suggestion made at consultation stage for the guidance, has gone in: the guidance says that when boroughs define their cycle networks these not only need to meet TfL’s new standards for cycle routes, but also  take into account the predicted and targeted growth in cycling that continues across London, and therefore plan for increasing numbers of users in cycle tracks, etc.

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