Boris Johnson has confirmed he would build Europe’s longest segregated urban cycle lane through central London after delays likely to be suffered by motorists were reduced.

The Mayor approved the “Crossrail for bikes” protected route through Parliament Square and along the Victoria Embankment and Upper Thames Street after it won overwhelming public support.

A total of 84 per cent of the 21,500 responses backed the plans for the east-west route that will eventually link Barking and Acton, and a linked north-south route between King’s Cross and Elephant and Castle.

Amendments to the scheme mean that “worst case” delays of 16 minutes have been cut to six minutes for morning rush-hour motorists driving from Limehouse Link to Hyde Park Corner.

How Parliament Square will look
How Parliament Square will look

Mr Johnson said: “We have done one of the biggest consultation exercises in TfL’s history. We have listened, and now we will act. Overwhelmingly, Londoners wanted these routes, and wanted them delivered to the high standard we promised. I intend to keep that promise.

“But I have also listened to those concerned about the east-west route’s impact on traffic. Thanks to the skill of TfL’s engineers and traffic managers, we have made changes to our original plans which keep the whole of the segregated cycle track and junctions, while taking out much less of the route’s motor traffic capacity – and so causing much shorter delays.”

The road along Victoria Embankment is set to be transformed
The road along Victoria Embankment is set to be transformed

TfL board papers being published this afternoon confirmed that the proposals are set to be ratified at a meeting next week, with “spades in the ground” from April.

The £41m central part of the route, between Tower Hill and the A40 Westway flyover at Paddington, is scheduled to be completed by April 2016 – making good the Mayor’s pledge to deliver a safer cycling infrastructure in the wake of a series of cycle fatalities.


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