Saturday, February 09, 2008

London ready to invest in bicycling

The British capital sees a future in two-wheelers.
We want nothing short of a cycling transformation in London," said the mayor, Ken Livingstone. "We are announcing the biggest investment in cycling in London's history, which will mean that thousands more Londoners can cycle in confidence, on routes that take them quickly and safely to where they want to go."

The cycle scheme is one of several environmental announcements expected in the capital over the coming weeks, including a decision on plans for a £25-a-day congestion charge on the highest-polluting vehicles and a proposal to re-fit 900 civic buildings across the capital to make them more energy-efficient.

The superhighways will link popular residential areas such as Hackney, Clapham and Kilburn to the city centre. The routes are based on a 12-month study of the most popular roads already used by cyclists and will have continuous, wide cycle lanes, dedicated junctions and clear signs.

Planners hope the changes will encourage a "critical mass" of cyclists to use the routes, creating a safe and accessible environment as well as cutting congestion and pollution across London. "We are aiming to make cycling part of public transport and if we can get even 5% of people out of their cars, off the tubes and buses and on to bikes it will mean 1.7m cycle trips in London every day," said Mark Watts, transport adviser to the mayor.
Read more, including the city's plans for a bike-sharing system like the one that's pleasing Parisians every day, in The Guardian.

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