London's £913 Million Bicycle Crossrail

7 March 2013, 14:03 | Updated: 7 March 2013, 14:16

The Mayor of London has revealed plans for a £913 million 'Crossrail for the bike'.

The 15 mile route will start in the western suburbs, cross through the heart of London, and on to Canary Wharf and Barking.

Segregated cycle tracks, similar to those used in Holland, will be used through places including the Victoria Embankment and Westway flyover.

It's hoped the route will be ready to use in 2016.

The Mayor said: "The Westway, the ultimate symbol of how the urban motorway tore up our cities, will become the ultimate symbol of how we are claiming central London for the bike."

The Mayor today announced that the main cross-London physical legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games will be a proper network of cycle routes across the city.

As in the public transport system, London's "bike Crossrail" will lie at the heart of a new bike "Tube network."

Over the next four years London will open a range of high-quality new cycle routes parallel to, and named after, Tube lines and bus routes, so everyone knows where they go.

Other proposals in the 'Mayor's Vision for Cycling' include a new network of 'Quietways' on peaceful side streets running into the suburbs, aimed at people put off by cycling in traffic, and substantial improvements to existing and proposed cycle Superhighways.

There will also be more 'semi-segregation' on other streets to ensure bicycles are better seperated from other vehicles.

The Mayor added: "I want to de-Lycrafy cycling.

I want to make it normal, something for everyone, something you feel comfortable doing in your ordinary clothes.

Our new routes will give people the confidence to get in the saddle.

I do not promise perfection, or that London will become Amsterdam any time soon.

But what I do say is that this plan marks a profound shift in my ambitions and intentions for the bicycle.

The reason I am spending almost £1 billion on this is my belief that helping cycling will not just help cyclists.

It will create better places for everyone.

It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich.

It means more seats on the Tube, less competition for a parking place and fewer cars in front of yours at the lights.

Above all, it will fulfil my aim of making London's air cleaner.

If just 14 per cent of journeys in central London were cycled, emissions there of the greatest vehicle pollutant, NOx, would fall by almost a third and over the years literally thousands of lives could be saved."