Strongly backed by the Mayor of London and following on from the success of two earlier pilot routes, a further Barclays Cycle Superhighway (Route eight from Wandsworth to Westminster), has just been completed in a project carried out by Carillon.
Route eight is approximately 7 km long and runs via Old York Road, Wandsworth Bridge roundabout, York Road, Battersea Park Road, Queenstown Road, Chelsea Bridge, Grosvenor Road and Millbank.
Constructed for Transport for London (TfL), Barclays Cycle Superhighways are cycle routes running from outer London into central London and providing cyclists with safer, faster and more direct journeys into the city. These Superhighways are geared to improving cycling conditions for people who already commute by bike, and to encourage new cyclists. This will help cut congestion, relieve overcrowding on public transport and reduce emissions.
The Cycle Superhighways project is one of TfL and the Mayor’s main ways of bringing about a London cycling revolution, aimed at increasing cycling in London by 400 per cent by 2025 (compared to 2000 levels).
These clearly marked blue routes will greatly improve conditions for people who already commute by bike and encourage those who don’t to take to two wheels. The 12 new routes will help ease London’s congestion, relieve overcrowding on public transport and reduce polluting emissions.
The works involved in creating Route eight involved making various changes to the road network along the route to make journeys easier for cyclists. These included major civil engineering including the substantial reconfiguration of junctions, the alteration of signage, the reconfiguration of underground services such as gas, electricity and water, the re-distribution of carriageway space to accommodate the cycle lane and the laying of the distinctive new blue cycle lane surface off the main carriageway. The blue surfacing is in three types – a high friction surface used at junction approaches; standard surfacing used along the general route, and Street Paint surfacing typically used for off-road cycle tracks.
Lanes are at least 1.5m wide and continue through junctions. Advanced stop lines at traffic lights help cyclists get ahead of traffic, and changed junction layouts give them more space
Numerous considerations have been taken into account during the construction of the project. The phasing of works was planned with the aim of minimising disruption to local residents and road users during the works.
TfL and the contractor worked closely with the local boroughs to agree working hours for noisy works, and local stakeholders were notified in advance of works planned in their area.
Works were scheduled to avoid clashing with events and special occasions such as The Royal Wedding and Chelsea Flow Show. All traffic management plans were consulted with stakeholders including buses and the police.
“The pilot routes are doing well and we have seen a significant increase in the volume of people now cycling as a result of these and we are hoping for the same result from the new routes” said Mr Robert Semple of TfL.
In total there are 12 Cycle Superhighways for the capital. The first two were launched in 2010, and a further two (route eight and route two from Bow to Aldgate which has been constructed by Skanska), were completed recently.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London says: “The Barclays Cycle Superhighways are a key part of my aim to make London a cycling friendly city, offering fast, direct and safer routes into central London.
“Not only is cycling a great way of keeping fit, but it can save you money too and with these blue cycle routes it’s easier than ever to cycle to work or to simply enjoy the sights of the city.
“I’m looking forward to seeing many more cyclists benefiting from this scheme.”
Eight further Barclays Cycle Superhighways will be introduced by 2015. The remaining proposed routes will be delivered as part of a rolling programme and will link residential areas across the capital to inner London. TfL will work closely with the boroughs and other interested groups where the routes will run to help define and develop detailed plans for the scheme.