Boris Johnson’s flagship “Crossrail for bikes” cycle superhighway finally opens tomorrow [Wednesday May 3], Transport for London has confirmed, after a race to get it completed before the Mayor leaves office.
It comes as both Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith pledged to continue to build more segregated routes but without creating the same backlash from motorists or residents.
The central section of the £47 million east-west route linking Westminster and Tower Hill was held up by delays at the junction with Blackfriars bridge. Workers also had to down tools for the London Marathon. However cyclists have been able to use sections of the route for several weeks by weaving past temporary barriers.
Mr Khan said he was “definitely” committed to more routes while Mr Goldmith said it was “not accurate” to say he wanted to rip some out.
“I have every confidence they will work,” he told a London Cycling Campaign hustings. “I believe they will work.”
Plans to build the CS11 superhighway from Swiss Cottage to Oxford Circus via Regent’s Park were backed by a majority of respondents to a Transport for London consultation but attracted sizeable opposition in Hampstead and St John’s Wood.
Mr Goldsmith said: “If TfL were to work with, rather than dump projects, on communities, we would be able to be so much more ambitious than we currently are.”
Tomorrow’s unveiling of the east-west superhighway follows the opening of the newly segregated and upgraded CS2 superhighway between Aldgate and Stratford last week.
The North-South CS6 route was opened last Friday [April 29] between Elephant and Castle and Stonecutter Street in Clerkenwell, across a new segregated path on Blackfriars bridge. The route is planned to eventually reach King’s Cross.
Andrew Gilligan, Mr Johnson’s cycling commissioner, said: “Our superhighways will change how people get around, saving cyclists’ lives and taking thousands of Londoners off the roads and railways. It’s a huge moment for London.”