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London’s cycling infrastructure network has quadrupled in length since Sadiq Khan became mayor



London’s cycling infrastructure network has quadrupled in length since Sadiq Khan became mayor

Transport for London (TfL) have announced that London’s cycling network is now four times the length that it was in 2016, the year current Mayor Sadiq Khan took office. There is now 360km of bike infrastructure, a four-fold increase from the 90km that was in place in 2016.

Given the recent news that confirmed the correlation between bicycle infrastructure and cycling levels, it’s likely that the dramatic increase in bike lanes in the UK’s capital is linked to the increase in the number of trips taken by bike in those years. The number of daily cycle journeys in London increased by 1.23 million in 2023, and is up a fifth from 2019.

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TfL claims that now a quarter of Londoners will live within 400m of a bike lane, which is significant: a recent study into the impact of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods showed that proximity to cycling infrastructure had a big impact on how frequently people used it.

The latest addition to the network is the completion of Cycleway 4, which links up London Bridge with Greenwich, a borough south east of the centre. As well as connecting these two historic places, the route has links to Cycleways 10 and 14, which take cyclists into South London.

With £19.5 million already budgeted for cycling infrastructure in the next financial year, that total figure is set to rise further still. There are plans to improve and extend routes across the capital, including outer-London areas like Harrow, Hounslow and Redbridge, all of which were added to the Ultra Low Emission Zone last year.

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On announcement of the news, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman said he was delighted that the route was complete, noting that “its completion also means the Mayor, TfL and London boroughs will hit the milestone of quadrupling the size of the strategic cycle network from 90km in 2016 to over 360km by the end of this month.

“This is testament to the work of the Mayor, TfL and London’s boroughs and enables even more people to safely travel around the capital by bike, including those in greater London. We’ll continue to work closely with boroughs to connect even more of the capital to our high-quality cycle network.”

Meanwhile, Jakub Mamczak, Senior Campaigns Officer at London Cycling Campaign, said this was a triumph for the London Cycling Campaign, who have been campaigning for Cycleway 4 for decades. The next step, he says, is to build a complete network right across the city:

“A connected and coherent, safe cycle network is the vital next step for our city to take to enable Londoners to embrace cycling as a healthy, clean, sustainable transport mode – already cycle journeys in London match up to a third of all Tube journeys. We’re looking forward to the next routes coming from the Mayor, TfL and all boroughs so London can truly become a cycling city.”

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