Mayor says construction will start on Swiss Cottage-West End cycle superhighway next year though full route isn't set in stone

 
Rebecca Smith
Khan's predecessor Boris Johnson unveiled the first cycle superhighway
Khan's predecessor Boris Johnson unveiled the first cycle superhighway (Source: Getty)

The mayor has confirmed work will start on a new cycle superhighway from Swiss Cottage to the West End next year.

Sadiq Khan said construction on the new 2.5 mile route, cycle superhighway 11, will begin in the autumn of 2017 when the gyratory will start to be removed.

It was one of the more controversial plans of his predecessor Boris Johnson, with the route involving the closure of half of Regent Park's gates during the day.

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That's still the "default position", though consideration will be given to other options. Gate closures won't be required until summer 2018 at the earliest and the final proposal on Regent's Park will be announced next summer.

TfL is also looking into a 20mph speed limit in the park, as well as electronic speed signs.

Khan said the proposed route had been left in an "absolute mess" by Johnson, who hadn't allayed residents' concerns.

While the consultation on the superhighway received 60 per cent support from over 6,000 respondents, Transport for London (TfL) carried out further work to look at concerns from borough councils and locals.

The design has been altered somewhat as a result, with a wider segregated cycle track planned on Avenue Road to prepare for the expected high number of users.

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The majority of the route is now set, but TfL is still discussing proposals with The Royal Parks. It said this wouldn't delay the overall project because the work is phased.

Khan said: "CS11 had been left in an absolute mess by the previous administration, with the community divided. But we’ve worked hard to listen to the concerns raised and taken these into account, while still delivering significant improvements for pedestrians and cyclists."

Earlier this month, the mayor unveiled plans to spend £770m on supporting the capital's cyclists by 2020.

Figures from TfL revealed that since the construction of the North-South cycle superhighway, the number of cyclists on Blackfriars Bridge had increased by 55 per cent during peak periods. Similarly, on the East-West route, cyclists accounted for 52 per cent of traffic during the busiest periods at Victoria Embankment.

Alan Bristow, TfL's director of road space management said the East-West and North-South cycle superhighways had meant "thousands more people are able to safely cycle everyday" and the new route should have a similar effect.

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