Cycling in London will never be the same again! On July 19th Boris Johnson launched the first two Cycle Super Highways. Designed to provide clearly marked routes to the City cyclists can enjoy a a vivid blue painted cycle path on the road, reworked junctions to increase cyclist safety, and roadside information on journey times to places along the route.
Route CS3 runs from Barking to Tower Gateway and Route CS7 from Merton to The City. 10 other routes will be built over the next 5 years.
I have gotten the role of leading rides from Wandsworth Commom along CS7, as part of the Guided cycle rides series that TFL are putting on. Two mornings a week you can join one of these rides and experience the route with the increased safety of 3 support staff. Check out the TFL site for details.
I was there for the launch at Clapham Common, and had the amusing pleasure of hearing Boris’s speech. He declared that blue was not chosen to represent Barclays or the Conservative party, it’s the blue of FREEDOM! He also sees this as another initiative to push London towards being the best city in the world.
Riding the route you notice the good job they have made of the resurfacing, smoothing over those puncture causing potholes. Also the blue paint is very distinctive and does seem to urge drivers to stay away from the cyclist’s zone.
However the Highways are just a suggested route, they will not shield you from harm. You still need to cycle following safe cycling principles. There are times when you will need to move from the left hand lane to the right, and here you need to know what you are doing. I think there is a problem with the public’s perception that it is safe for any novice to get on their bike and cycle the route. This is not the case! If people are inexperienced they still need to stick to minor roads and seek cycle training.