Transport for London has published the results of the North-South Cycle Superhighway consultation process, a document that reveals 70% public support for continued extension of the already busy route.
Linking the junction of Stonecutter Street/Farringdon Street and King’s Cross, the proposed extension would join the initial stretch, which opened in April and has been hosting surging numbers daily. Once complete, the North-South highway would offer 5 kilometres of largely segregated cycleway. The presently open segment has seen cyclists make up 70% of traffic over Blackfriars Bridge at peak time.
In the King’s Cross area, the route will connect with the Central London Grid, which will provide high quality cycle connections to Camden Town and Swiss Cottage, and to Quietway 2 to Waltham Forest via Islington and Hackney.
Pedestrians too will benefit from the proposed extension, with 1,665 square metres of new footway adjoining the route, as well as 14 upgraded signalised pedestrian crossings offering countdown.
With cycling’s numbers set to match that of one fifth of London’s tube traffic in the capital (and growing), new Mayor Sadiq Khan has repeatedly said he wants London to become a “by-word for cycling” and while he gave today’s results the thumbs up, he has urged TfL to proceed with caution.
Sadiq Khan, said: “I want to make London a by-word for cycling around the world. Encouraging more Londoners to cycle by making it safer and easier benefits all of us – helping cleaning up
London’s toxic air pollution, improving our health, and helping to tackle congestion on our roads.
“The extension of North-South Cycle Superhighway to King’s Cross will make a big difference joining up existing and planned safe cycle routes in this part of London. It will provide thousands more Londoners with an easier and safer cycling route in central London.
“Of course, there are lessons to be learned from how previous routes were delivered, including reducing the impact of construction on all road users. I have therefore asked TfL to look very carefully at issues raised by the public to make sure they are properly considered during the process.”
On planning for the extension the Mayor has personally written to the Chief Executive of the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) following concerns raised during the consultation about changes to pedestrian crossings and the impact on visually impaired people. He confirmed that the signal-controlled crossing outside the RNIB headquarters on Judd Street near Euston Road will not be changed.
Furthermore, Khan has insisted that Transport for London learn from past issues in planning construction timetables, calling for more nighttime construction.
The number of people cycling in London is continuing to grow, particularly where new safer routes have been built. On Vauxhall Bridge, over which Cycle Superhighway 5 runs, there has been a 73 per cent increase year on year in the number of cyclists during rush hour. On the section of the North South Cycle Superhighway on Blackfriars Bridge, cyclist numbers have increased by 55 per cent and 70 per cent of all vehicles on the bridge are now cyclists at the busiest times.
TfL will now prepare detailed responses to the issues raised during the consultation and continue to engage with local stakeholders and Camden and Islington councils to progress work on the scheme.
Work is also ongoing to review all of the responses received as part of the consultations on Cycle Superhighway 11, from Swiss Cottage to the West End, and the extension of the East-West Cycle Superhighway towards Acton in west London.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “This will be a welcome and important addition to Islington’s cycling network, connecting the borough to the rest of London on segregated safe routes – something we have spent a long time pushing for.
“I am glad that the majority of people are in favour of the plans, which will also benefit pedestrians, improve Islington’s overall air quality and encourage more people to cycle, with all the health and environmental gains that brings.
“We fully support the route and given the huge success of the consultation, it is worth taking the extra time with Camden, TfL and the Mayor of London to get it right.”