London is about to get a Holland-style bike-ability makeover, as Mayor Boris Johnson just announced a $1.51 billion master plan to improve the city’s bicycle network. The safer bicycle network is designed to relieve pressure on inner-London’s roads and public transportation systems. The plan also includes an ambitious “Crossrail for Bike” – a 15-mile bicycle highway segregated from road traffic that will connect the suburbs of East and West London.
London Bike photo from Shutterstock
$1.36 billion of the master plan money will go towards semi-segregated bicycle paths on certain streets that will be called “Quietways”. In London’s busiest areas, like in the City and in the West End, all bicycle paths will be connected to create what will be called the “Central London Grid”. The new network will follow along and be named after existing underground rail lines and bus routes to make it easier on Londoners to adapt to them.
The master plan will also make London’s most dangerous intersections safer for bicycles. A comprehensive policy will focus on bringing targeted intersections up to higher safety standards rather than just making token improvements. Funding for the “Safer Intersection Review” has been increased from $28 million to $149 million. Part of this money will fund 8 police officers dedicated to addressing accidents involving cyclists and heavy goods trucks.
In outer London, more than $1.51 million will be spent to improve the bicycle network of three boroughs to create bicycle-friendly “mini-Hollands”. It is hoped that the improvements in these three boroughs will be examples for other suburbs of outer London to follow.