Cycle superhighways

East-West (CS3) and North-South (CS6) Cycle Superhighways

Lancaster Gate to Barking; Elephant and Castle to Kings Cross

East westThe jewels in the Cycle Superhighways crown.

The East-West Cycle Superhighway CS3 currently runs from near Paddington, through Hyde Park, past Buckingham Palace and along the Embankment to Tower Bridge, mostly using wide bidirectional tracks that are largely of very high quality. The East-West connects with the North-South at Blackfriars Bridge. And at Tower Bridge in the east, it continues onto older sections of the route that run along Cable Street and out to Barking.

From Tower Bridge to the end of Cable Street at Butcher's Row, a narrow two-way track provides safe space for cycling - but with far too little capacity for current usage levels, and this has been exacerbated by the link to the East-West Cycle Superhighway. Tower Hamlets Council has long-held plans to make part of this track one way and put in "bus gates", one-ways and modal filters to remove through traffic, allowing people cycling to ride in the carriage in the other direction. We broadly support the principles of this idea, but have reservations about details of the scheme proposed previously and want to see it tweaked before it is implemented.

Beyond Butcher's Row, the scheme uses quiet streets, then goes out onto the A13 to Barking - where it is narrow and not good quality - the track here predates the Cycle Superhighways and is not fitting of the brand.

A further westward extension of the East-West was proposed to take it onto the elevated Westway, over the top of Kensington & Chelsea borough (who apparently will not currently tolerate any Cycle Superhighway on surface roads within their boundaries), and on to Acton. Beyond Wood Lane, the East-West was proposed to be "shared use" unfit to carry "Cycle Superhighway" branding. This alignment has been shelved - with Mayor Sadiq Khan promising an alternative route - however work on the shared use section is currently beginning.

The North-South Cycle Superhighway runs from Elephant & Castle in the South to King's Cross. It also features high-quality bidirectional tracks for the majority of its length. However, Elephant & Castle, the section between it and St George's Circus, and the Circus itself, remain beset with issues currently, that require fixes. North from St George's Circus and over Blackfriars Bridge, linking into the East-West there, the track is arguably the highest-quality cycling facility in the UK.

An extension to the North-South as far as Kings Cross is recently complete. Beyond Greville Street in Farringdon, the northbound route uses quiet, narrow backstreets until Tavistock Place. Beyond there, the scheme relies on a modal filter by Camden council at Judd Street to appropriately quieten the remainder of the route to Euston Road. The southbound route runs partially on quiet streets and partially along Farringdon Road, in a segregated track - but that is more interrupted and lower quality.

Current designs for the extension also retain significant risks at junctions including Charterhouse Street.

Find out more about the East-West and North-South cycle superhighways.

Cycle Superhighway 1

Tottenham to the City

CS1From White Hart Lane in Tottenham to Liverpool Street station, CS1 is not really a 'Superhighway' but a 'SuperQuietway'. Rather than following the A10 main road, Cycle Superhighway 1 runs primarily on side streets to its west. The advantage is the route features fewer traffic lights. But with the scheme failing to appropriately quieten key sections that remain heavily-trafficed through routes, CS1 needs a lot more work.

Find out more about Cycle Superhighway 1




Cycle Superhighway 2

Aldgate to Stratford

CS2Cycle Superhighway 2 runs from Aldgate to Stratford. In consultations with Transport for London over Cycle Superhighway 2 before it opened, we expressed grave concerns about the low level of protection for cyclists, particularly on Bow roundabout. This is now a route on which six cyclists have died since it opened in 2011. 

In November 2014, Transport for London held a consultation on the urgently needed upgrade to the stretch of Cycle Superhighway 2 which runs from Aldgate to Bow. The consultation, which ran from 23 September to 2 November, showed 95% of respondents supported protected space along the route - yet despite this overwhelming support, LCC believes that Transport for London has watered down the plans, which will compromise cycling safety. Tower Hamlets Wheelers, the local LCC group, have been actively campaigning for Tower Hamlets and Transport for London to reverse their decision.

Works to "upgrade" CS2 are pretty much complete for now. And while they are very welcome, there's still a long way to go to ensure this Cycle Superhighway works as well as it should. Significant hook risks remain at key junctions, including the previously lethal Bow roundabout and we have major concerns about Warton Road in Newham and some of the two-stage right junctions further in. Long-term, TfL are moving forward plans to remove the Bow flyover and roundabout completely. And we will continue to campaign for improvements where needed.

We will also continue to campaign for TfL and the City of London to work on a much-needed link between CS2, CS3 and the East-West Cycle Superhighways with proper protected space for cycling.

Find out more about Cycle Superhighway 2

Cycle Superhighway 3

See East-West Cycle Superhighway above.

Cycle Superhighway 4

London Bridge to Woolwich - not yet open

Cycle Superhighway 4 should run from London Bridge to Woolwich via Deptford and Greenwich, and include improvements to three junctions in the Better Junctions scheme – Rotherhithe Roundabout, Surrey Quays and Woolwich Rd. CS4 was widely supported at consultation, although that consultation excluded the Lower Road section around Surrey Quays in Southwark. It uses largely high-quality bidirectional and with flow cycle tracks and is due to go into construction in Summer 2019. Read more about our take on the plans thus far here:

Cycle Superhighway 5

Central London to Lewisham - partially open

The first section of CS5 runs from just north of Vauxhall Bridge to Oval. It's a high-quality set of junction treatments and two-way track. But it's very short. Before the new Mayor was elected, TfL also consulted on a wider set of changes around Vauxhall's gyratory system - improving links and routes for cycling throughout. Further extensions to CS5 from Oval through Camberwell and towards Lewisham southwards and north into Belgravia, are yet to materialise.

Cycle Superhighway 6


Cycle Superhighway 6 was originally due to run from Penge to the City. This was dumped from the programme, along with Cycle Superhighway 12 from East Finchley to Angel, and replaced with the North-South Cycle Superhighway, see above.

Cycle Superhighway 7

Merton to the City - currently open

Cycle Superhighway 7 launched in 2010, but is in urgent need of improvement. Transport for London has radically improved the stretch around Oval - including an excellent version of their "hold the left" junction design that removes hook risks. And the result has been a huge increase in cycling volumes in the area. But the rest of CS7 now needs looking at and upgrading.

Cycle Superhighway 8

Wandsworth to Westminster - currently open

Cycle Superhighway 8 is another superhighway that is open, but also in urgent need of improvement – particularly at Battersea. Wandsworth Council consulted on a new design for the Queens Circus roundabout, at the corner of Battersea Park, in 2014 – but we’ve expressed serious concerns about this design. This junction would work much better as a cross roads with protected space and turns for cyclists; the minor estate roads would join away from the main junction.

Cycle Superhighway 9

Hyde Park to Hounslow - not yet open

Cycle Superhighway 9 was due to open in 2014, but ran into opposition from Kensington and Chelsea Council. We continue to campaign to see CS9 reach into the west end via Kensington & Chelsea. The first section of CS9, between Olympia at the Kensington and Chelsea border, and Brentford, is due to move into construction in summer 2019. It features largely high-quality bidirectional cycle tracks across the north side of Hammersmith Broadway, along King Street and Chiswick High Road and a quiet streets section using Wellesley Road between there and Kew Bridge, where it uses bidirectional tracks again. You can read more about our take on it here:

Cycle Superhighway 10

Cricklewood to Marble Arch - not yet open

Cycle Superhighway 10 won’t be built before May 2016. TfL plan to consult on Marble Arch gyratory in 2016, but it’s not due for completion until 2021.

Cycle Superhighway 11

West Hampstead to Hyde Park Corner

Progress on CS11 has been thwarted by Westminster Council, who launched a judicial review against TfL’s plans to improve safety at the notoriously dangerous Swiss Cottage. The case hinged on the point that TfL consulted on a route that included closing gates around Regent's Park, cycle tracks on Portland Place and cycle lanes on Avenue Road as well as tackling the Swiss Cottage junctions, then tried to deliver just one bit of it when push came to shove. This allowed Westminster to mount its challenge - on the grounds that the business case and traffic modelling hadn't been done for Swiss Cottage on its own. Of course, it was delays to other sections of the scheme - including delays dealing with Westminster Council itself - that led to TfL trying to move forward on just Swiss Cottage.

Although the future of CS11 is currently unclear, TfL has stated that it will be working with Camden Council to deliver improvements to Swiss Cottage as soon as possible. More information is available here.

Cycle Superhighway 12


Cycle Superhighway 12, which was due to run from East Finchley to Angel, has been dropped from the superhighways programme. 

The next Cycle Superhighways

The new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and his team, and TfL, are using an increasingly data-led approach to planning a cycling network. This can be seen in the "Strategic Cycling Analysis" document. The upshot of this is cycle "corridors" that fulfil potential trip demand, and link to other corridors on a cycling network are now viewed as far more important than the naming of that route. New corridors may well mix main road track sections that are like Cycle Superhighways with quieter sections that are like Quietways. And the branding for these corridors may be entirely different, or the Cycle Superhighway and Quietway brands may well be removed.

That said, thus far, both TfL and the new administration are very clear that main road tracks will continue to play a very vital role in enabling lots more people to cycle in London - for starters, so many places people want to go to are on them.

The Mayor announced the first six of the top 25 corridors to move forward in January 2018. And these are moving to more detailed design and feasibility work now. Sources inside the Mayor's office say these six are 75% cycle tracks on main roads.

Be a member of London Cycling Campaign

LCC supports the concept of the Cycle Superhighways but we've often been concerned about the quality of the routes. Our campaigning on CS2 is resulting in upgrades along the route and the East-West and North-South Superhighways are a direct result of our Love London, Go Dutch campaign. We continue to campaign to ensure that the remaining superhighways are delivered to the highest possible standards.

As a membership charity we rely on funds raised through subscriptions from individuals who share our vision of making London the best cycling city in the world. If you share our vision and want to help create Space for Cycling please join LCC today.