Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, plans to create a cycle “super-corridor” across central London as he asks the Government for an urgent law change to improve road safety in the capital and save cyclists’ lives (London Evening Standard).
The Standard says that the Mayor wrote to Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, to complain about Whitehall regulations holding back his plans to test new techniques in ‘continental-style’ road safety measures.
His intervention comes as the spotlight again falls on riders’ safety after cyclist deaths on London’s roads this year rose to 12 last week.
The issue has been thrown into even sharper focus after Bradley Wiggins and Shane Sutton were recently knocked off their bikes.
A plan to create an east-to-west cycle corridor within four years — inspired by road-use innovations during the Olympics — will be included in the Boris Johnson’s “Cycle Vision” strategy, to be published this month, says the Standard.
It will be the final link in the network of 12 cycle super-highways, with the core route running along the Embankment, where riders currently run the gauntlet of intermittent lanes.
The proposals will address one main criticism of the emerging network of blue-painted routes — that it channels riders into Zone 1 of central London where the dedicated lanes run out.
Garrett Emerson, Transport for London’s chief operating officer in charge of streets, told the Standard: “If you are to make cycling effective you must join the network up and have dedicated high-quality facilities that take routes from A to B, not just three-quarters of the way.”
Mr Emerson said plans were at an early stage, but added that TfL had been encouraged by the Olympics to think more radically about whom among motorists, HGV drivers, cyclists and pedestrians has priority and at what time of day along the Embankment.
Mr Emerson added: “Potentially there are things you can do to change the road physically and the lesson from the Olympics is you can make an appreciable difference to demand by asking people to use the network differently such as changing times they travel.”
TfL and the Mayor want to accelerate a range of trials but complain these are being held back by the DfT. Among them is a pilot programme for cyclists’ mini-traffic lights at up to 500 major junctions.
Click here to read the full London Evening Standard report.