by Matt Ayres
Space for cycling is an issue that many cyclists are passionate about, with the #space4cycling social media campaign providing countless examples of injustice for cyclists who only want to get from A to B without the potentially fatal consequences of having to share a road with HGVs and reckless drivers.
Well-known ambassadors including Chris Boardman and Chris Hoy are passionate advocates of safe cycling, and with Boris Johnson recently giving the green light to new cycling superhighways for London, it appears that the government may finally be listening to what #space4cycling campaigners have to say. Here are a few of the other schemes that could come to redefine British cycling in the coming months.
The London Underline
This proposed network of underground cycle paths would see unused tube tunnels between Holborn and Aldwych Station turned into designated paths for cyclists. The idea won Best Conceptual Project at the London Planning Awards, with innovative ideas to monetise the project and use kinetic pavement to convert footfall into electricity. However, it has been criticised by some as being an impractical and unrealistic idea.
Dutch-style cycle lanes in Manchester, Bristol and Cambridge
Amsterdam is regularly heralded as a utopia for cyclists, so it’s no wonder that segregated Dutch-style lanes are being proposed in the UK. A 700m segregated track in Bristol is set to connect the city with nearby Keynsham, while Manchester’s busy Oxford Road and two popular routes in Cambridge also look to be destined for segregated cycle paths.
Super safe cycle path in Edinburgh
A segregated cycle path on Edinburgh’s George Street is being trialed until September 2015, separating cyclists from other traffic by using rubber ‘armadillos.’ The path is separated from traffic using rubber 'armadillos' and is said to be safe enough for an unaccompanied 12-year-old to ride on.
The Thames Deckway
A £600 million floating cycle path on the River Thames in London… it sounds like something from a sci-fi film, but this plan envisaged by The River Cycleway Consortium stretching from Battersea to Canary Wharf could allow cyclists to pedal from one location to the other in as little as half an hour. A toll to use the Cycleway would be £1.50, surely a worthwhile price considering it currently takes around an hour to cover this distance in London.
Imagine gliding along on your bike far above London’s traffic, railway lines and rooftops, with the thought of deadly left-turning lorries a distant memory. That’s what SkyCycle envisages, a project with the backing of Network Rail and Transport for London: over 137 miles of cycle track above the rail network. It sounds incredibly ambitious, but with the possibilities of modern technology, why shouldn’t something like this exist for cyclists in our fair capital?