Top cyclists have written to the prime minister asking her to create ‘a legacy of everyday cycling’ as the extension of London's north-south cycle superhighway gets the go-ahead.
Cycling legends Sir Chris Hoy and Chris Boardman, alongside Rio 2016 cyclists including Olympic champions Laura Trott and Jason Kenny, have called for Theresa May to devote 5% of the Government’s transport spending to cycling infrastructure and to set targets to improve road maintenance.
Laura Trott in action
Their letter says: ‘The best way to honour the achievements of our athletes would be to create a legacy of every-day cycling in this country – a place where cycling is the choice form of transport for people to get around in their daily lives.
‘Investment in cycling as a form of transport isn’t purely an investment in cycle lanes. It is an investment that will pay off for the nation’s health, wealth, transport infrastructure and the vibrancy of our towns and cities. It has the added benefit of just making it easier for ordinary families to get to work and get to school.’
Mr Boardman is a policy adviser for British Cycling, and has campaigned for safer cycling routes. In July his mother was killed in a road accident while cycling.
He said: ‘Britain is the best elite cycling nation in the world – we’ve proved it at three successive Olympic Games – and yet we’re still massively lagging behind other nations in terms of every-day cycling. ‘How can it be right that we have so many Olympic champions but less than 2% of Brits cycle regularly? We know why people aren’t cycling. The fact is that most will only ride a bike if they are separated from traffic on convenient, well-maintained routes.’
Superhighway gets go-ahead
Separately, London mayor Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London (TfL) today confirmed that they will proceed with extending the north-south cycle superhighway, which it claims has the support of 70% of the public.
TfL said the cycle lane, also known as Cycle Superhighway 6 (CS6), will provide ‘a safe and direct route’ for cyclists across central London between Elephant and Castle and King's Cross.
The route will be 5km in total and either fully separated from traffic or on ‘quiet back streets’. At its northern end, the route will connect both with the planned Quietway 2, and Central London Grid routes, allowing cyclists to travel to Hackney, Walthamstow, Camden and Swiss Cottage and ‘opening up the city to cycling’.
TfL said it will ensure that plans for construction take on board lessons learned from the previous routes. This includes a construction timetable that is fully coordinated with other roadworks and the potential for more night-time working to complete the work faster.