London mayor Sadiq Khan claims to have met a pledge to triple the amount of protected space for cycling in the capital during his tenure – but only once cycle routes under construction are included.
The mayor and Transport for London (TfL) said protected space that is either complete or under construction has reached a total of 162km, compared to 50km in 2016.
However, City Hall cited schemes on which work is currently underway totalling over 30km, around a third of the increase.
It is not clear how much of the cycle routes completed since 2016 were under construction when Mr Khan came into office.
He said: ‘I’m really proud to have tripled the amount of protected space for cycling – making it safer and more convenient for Londoners across our city to cycle as part of their everyday routine.
‘My record investment to enable more people to cycle is vital to tackle some of the biggest challenges our city faces - including the climate emergency and our toxic air – and has led to record cycling numbers.
‘I’m determined to build on this success which is why I’m committed to expanding our network further so that even more Londoners can enjoy using our high-quality cycleways to get around the city.’
Dr Ashok Sinha, CEO of London Cycling Campaign, said: In 2016, the London Cycling Campaign called on Sadiq Khan, to triple the amount of protected space for cycling in London within one mayoralty. He said yes, and four years later we are delighted at TfL’s announcement that this commitment has been met.
‘We know that fear of collisions is the main reason more people don’t cycle; we also know that a mass shift to cycling is essential to help address the climate emergency. So we congratulate Sadiq, and his Walking & Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, on reaching this important milestone.’
TfL said protected space for cycling includes both full and semi-segregated cycle lanes along with stepped tracks, which keep cyclists s separated from motor traffic.
It said the total distance cycled in London on an average day in 2018 exceeded four million km for the first time, the highest figure since monitoring began in 2015 and an increase of almost 5% from the previous year. TfL said growth in cycling was particularly strong in central London, where the number of trips increased by more than 5%, although there was an increase of 6% in outer London.
Since 2016 more than 40km of protected space has been added through the Mini-Hollands programme, which includes Waltham Forest’s cycle network, Kingston’s Go Cycle scheme and Cycle Enfield.
According to City Hall, construction work is currently underway on the following schemes:
- Cycleway 4, a new route in south east London between Tower Bridge and Greenwich, which will add 10km of protected space to the capital’s growing network
- Cycleway 9 between Brentford and Olympia in west London will add 15km of protected space for cycling. Construction work to reduce road danger for the thousands of people cycling in the area started at Kew Bridge last year
- Cycleway 34 will add 3.4km of protected space for cycling between Acton and Wood Lane when it is completed next month
- A network of safe cycle routes as part of Camden’s scheme to transform Tottenham Court Road is currently under construction, including four kilometres of segregated cycle tracks connecting Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia with the West End.