Waltham Forest, Enfield and and Kingston are set to be transformed into a mini version of Holland, under a £100million scheme backed by Boris Johnson.
The bike loving Mayor has said ‘the rubber is about to hit the road’ at a recent speech at City Hall as he revealed his plans to improve safety for cyclists in the city.
Kingston will receive £30 million for the Thames Riverside Boardway which is akin to New York’s ‘high line’ which is essentially an elevated walkway for cyclists and pedestrians along the train line. It is proposed to be about 700m long and run between the Thames Side, just north of John Lewis to the start of the unbuilt waterfront and Queens Promenade at Town End Parade on High Street.
Kingston Council’s submission said it would help cyclists avoid the town centre. The hope to ultimately turn the town into a cyclehub.
The idea came from an invitation to the boroughs to present ideas to Mr Johnson on how cycle safety could be improved in their areas. The mayor and his cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan instructed the boroughs to take inspiration from the cycle loving Dutch when submitting their ideas.
Enfield’s plans are similarly ambitious. Here the council want to build a Dutch-style roundabout with protected cycle lanes and superhighways linking key destinations. They too want to make a Cycle Superhub in the town centre.
And in Waltham Forest, the wheels are in motion to create a new cycle superhighway on Lea Bridge Road. Their ambition is to improve cycling in residential areas, using Hackney as an example on how to create cycle friendly, low-traffic neighbourhoods.
The mayor also announced two new Cycle Superhighway routes, from Waterloo to Greenwich, and from Bloomsbury to Walthamstow.
It seems Johnson is fully committed to the cause and while he acknowledges that we might be short a couple of canals, tulips and aromatically scented cafes, his office is ‘determined to go as Dutch as possible’.