Londoners to cycle over water

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is a renowned cyclist and a firm believer that bicycles are the answer to London’s traffic woes. No...


Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is a renowned cyclist and a firm believer that bicycles are the answer to London’s traffic woes. Now a consortium has come up with a radical ‘think-outside-the-box’ solution with the proposal to situate a £600 million floating bicycle path on the south side of the river Thames, stretching from Battersea to Canary Wharf. Dubbed the Thames-Deckway, the route is destined to become a toll road, costing £1.50 per use and was first mooted after Boris announced a “crossrail for bikes” with Dutch-style segregation for cyclists to protect riders from the hazards of other traffic.

A spokesperson said the river, once London’s main thoroughfare, is now “overlooked” for major public transport. “The Thames offers vast, untapped potential to ease and improve London’s infrastructure problems,” he added. “What is needed is imagination to unleash it.” The path would generate energy for lights from solar panels, and harness tide and wind energy.

There is a growing concern about the number of cyclists that die on London roads. In a period of just 13 days in 2013, six cyclists were killed in traffic accidents - a number that will only grow if the unprotected cyclist has to mingle with cars, trucks and buses. Designers of the floating bike path said safety was a “number one priority” and traffic flow, river motion and hazardous weather conditions would be closely monitored.

There is a competing plan, called Sky Cycle, that wants to build over 200 kilometres of elevated bike-only lanes above London’s rail lines to keep cyclists safe from motorised traffic. The first phase of Sky Cycle would offer a route from Stratford in east London to Liverpool Street Station in the centre, at a cost of over £200 million.


If the plans are put in place, it would take twenty years to build ten routes above existing rail lines. These car-free roads could be used by about 400,000 commuters during rush hour and would cut up to half an hour from current travelling times, according to its designers.

Apparently a spokesperson for Network Rail said that they support the idea and that they are always looking for ways that they can improve travel and transport within London.

images: bbc.co.uk

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