The UK has just had the hottest June since records began. The world has just recorded the hottest day ever for the third time in a week. And some London councils still think paint is an acceptable form of cycling infrastructure.
But as Sir David Attenborough has said, “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or powerless by the scale of the issues facing our planet, but we have the solutions.”
London is shifting gear on cycling infrastructure. The quality and quantity of schemes going in is higher than ever before. Here are ten brilliant #ClimateSafeStreets projects campaigned for by our local groups across London being built right now:
Redbridge are taking up the challenging mantle of being “the borough next to uber-awesome Waltham Forest” with a new extension to the C23 cycle lane up the A104 past Waterworks Roundabout to a large primary school, and includes two new zebra crossings.
Local Redbridge Councillor Jo Blackman said: “Thanks London Cycling Campaign for recognising work underway in Redbridge on cycle routes… and thanks to London Cycling Campaign Redbridge branch for ongoing input.”
How is it that a local authority run by (among others) a “Remembrancer” elected since 1571 and a drama school is one of the most progressive for cycling in the UK? We don’t know, but we love it.
Ten years ago, Bank Junction was the lethal site of many LCC protests. Today it’s being transformed. In the latest change, Threadneedle Street closes permanently to private motor vehicles on 17 July 2023. The #allchangeatbank project continues to spring 2024.
Redbridge C23 stepped tracks cycle lane up the A104
Redbridge C23 new zebra crossings under construction
Threadneedle Street prepares for the permanent removal of private motor traffic
Haringey Council have done a brilliant job riding the “bike-lash” – the wave of negativity after any scheme that prevents people driving wherever they want. Council Leader Peray Ahmet and Transport Lead Mike Hakata have withstood endless personal attacks to continue the trial of Haringey’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) – installed last November with a temporary traffic order. Putting LTNs over almost a third of the borough by area is a massive, critical step – enough to create a real shift in behaviour, not just push traffic around.
Haringey resident Laura says: “When entering and exiting LTNs I don’t see frustrated car and bus drivers, I see people smiling and nodding – they can clearly see something very positive.
“We’ve done cycle rides through the LTNs with children of all ages including tiny children on balance bikes and had people joining spontaneously as we pass along their street! Who wouldn’t want to see children and young people exploring their community safely?”
One of our ‘Active Travel Hero’ winners in 2022, Camden Council continue to smash the tarmacked ceiling in 2023. This lovely extension to the classic north-south cycle superhighway (which we won back in 2012) is funded by ‘levelling up’ cash from central Government. It connects beautifully with the Queen’s Crescent Low Traffic Neighbourhood filters and is being made permanent with top-quality stepped tracks.
Camden have even gone back and added in a key connecting dropped kerb where one was missing in the original designs. Legends.
Haringey community bike ride through an LTN
Camden Prince of Wales Road stepped tracks being built
Attention to detail with dropped kerbs in Camden
It’s barely a year since we mourned the passing of OneChiswick Ltd (RIP). This anti-cycling company formed to attack C9 is fondly remembered by lawyers and currently living on via an abusive Facebook group and anonymous spam emails (all jokes copyright @onechiswick parody…)
Hounslow Council are now stepping up to the plate with the other end of the C9 cycle lane, building stepped tracks from Kew Bridge to Brentford. Eventually the plan is for C9 to connect all the way to Heathrow…
Hackney is sealing its reputation as one of London’s best boroughs for active travel by extending safe cycle routes right up to the edges of their borough. This new cycleway will link up existing safe routes in Waltham Forest down through north Hackney to Dalston. It also includes a massive redesign of Lea Bridge Roundabout – formerly a monster – to add in cycle-friendly connections and improved crossings.
For years we’ve been stuck with two incomplete parts of the C4 route – beautiful safe cycling from Tower Bridge to Southwark Park, and from Deptford Park to Greenwich. But a brutal section on the Lower Road A200 means the route is unusable for all but the bravest cyclists.
Now finally we’re hearing the safe route will be finished this autumn 2023. That extra section will enable thousands of people in an area very poorly served by both cycling infrastructure and public transport to have a quick safe route to central London. Massive shout-out TfL and Southwark.
C9 stepped tracks construction just past Kew Bridge
Lea Bridge roundabout under construction
Celebrating the finished bits of C4 in Southwark
This should hopefully be the first bit of Cycleway 2 reaching Ilford. And yes, C2 is dicey, chaotic and has dodgy junctions. But C2 is also one of the city’s longest cycleway routes, and it’s now getting even longer. Good news: it’s stepped tracks! Bad news: it’s only unidirectional. Good news: it’s the first of two that have been consulted on.
Previously a lethal urban racetrack, only last year 50 year old father-of-three Abrajah Rafiq was hit by a bus driver and killed here while cycling to work. The C50 cycle lane plus new 20mph limits are transforming Seven Sisters Road towards Finsbury Park. It’s currently tricky to navigate as it involves both temporary signage and a cycle lane that crosses from the left-hand to the right-hand side of the road, but it’s due to be finished in October this year (and then we really hope TfL gets on with the rest of the route through Finsbury Park and towards Tottenham, then connecting to Walthamstow).
A cycling round-up in London wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to Waltham Forest (an area we campaigned for in 2012 to be totally transformed for cycling). They’re now filling in a gap on High Road Leytonstone with beautiful fully separated cycle lanes.
There are many, many other cycle route schemes across London under construction that we couldn’t fit into this detailed list. Here are just a few: Sydenham Hill protected cycle lane (Southwark); Loughborough Road protected cycle lane (Lambeth); C42 Ilford to Barking Station LTN route upgrade (Redbridge); Merton High Street protected cycle lane (Merton); Greenford Road junction improvements around existing cycle lane (Ealing); Old Street roundabout junction upgrade (Islington); Strawberry Vale partial stepped tracks upgrade (Richmond).
Here, but now it’s official:
Sometimes a scheme put in using temporary measures becomes part of the furniture so quickly it’s easy to take it for granted. Here’s two that have just been made permanent, officially: Westminster – Park Lane temporary protected cycle lanes (Westminster); Bishopsgate temporary bus gate (City of London).
Hot off the press, here are three major central London schemes championed by London Cycling Campaign supporters:
And we know there are lots more Low Traffic Neighbourhoods coming including in Lambeth and possibly Brent (although we’re cautious here given the borough’s history). LTNs can be installed quickly and cheaply. And they work. Watch this space.
All these projects would not have been possible without campaigning from our borough groups, often for years. Our members make our work possible. If you can, please do join as a member today. And for an extended analysis of positive things being built for cycling across London, look out for our autumn 2023 member’s magazine.
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