Record £770m for cycling in London

A RECORD £154m a year will be invested in supporting cycling in London over the next five years, mayor Sadiq Khan has announced.

The draft Transport for London Business Plan, covering the period up to 2021-22, would almost double spending on infrastructure and initiatives to promote cycling compared with the previous mayoral term. It would take the average to £17 per head, per year, putting the capital on a par with countries like the Netherlands and Denmark.

The budget aims to achieve a target of 1.5m cycle journeys a day by 2025-26. It includes completing phase two of the North-South Cycle Superhighway from Farringdon to King's Cross, which will begin construction in the new year.

There are also plans to extend the East-West Cycle Superhighway from Lancaster Gate and to deliver a Cycle Superhighway from Swiss Cottage to the West End.

In addition, the plan confirms funding for two new superhighways - one running from Tower Bridge to Greenwich and another linking Olympia and Hounslow. The new routes are intended to open up more of south-east and west London to cycling. Consultations on the schemes will begin next year.

Elsewhere, three "Mini Hollands" in Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest, along with at least 20 more Quietway routes will be planned or rolled out to make cycling safer and easier in areas including Hammersmith, Finsbury Park, Croydon and Barking.

New infrastructure will include cyclist and pedestrian bridges linking Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf to create easier access in the area and an important connection between south-east London, the docklands and beyond.

The business plan comes ahead of the mayor appointing a new walking and cycling commissioner for the city, who will act as an advocate for active travel and will work with TfL to make cycling safer and easier.

Mayor Khan said he wants to make cycling the "obvious choice" for Londoners of all ages and backgrounds.

"Making cycling safe and easier can provide huge benefits for us all - improving our health, cleaning up our toxic air, and helping tackle congestion," he said.

"By spending £770m over the course of the next TfL Business Plan, we'll now be spending the same per head as Denmark and the Netherlands - places famous around the world for their cycling."

Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign, said: "This unprecedented investment in cycling shows the mayor is serious about meeting his promises to triple the extent of London’s protected cycle lanes, fix the most dangerous junctions and enable boroughs to implement major walking and cycling schemes. It will help make London a better, greener, healthier and less congested city."