Sunday, March 01, 2015

London's planned SkyCycle

Plans to build a network of cycle paths high above the streets of London are being put forward for consultation. SkyCycle is a 136-mile (219 km) route, with the first phase, proposed from east London to Liverpool Street Station, costing more than £200m. If approved, the 10 routes would be built above existing rail lines and would take about 20 years to complete. 

Sir Norman Foster, the architect who designed London's Gherkin tower, has been working with Exterior Architecture and Space Syntax on the concept since 2012. He said cycling was one of his great passions, particularly with friends. "I believe that cities where you can walk or cycle rather than drive are more congenial places in which to live," he said.

"SkyCycle is a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city. By using the corridors above the suburban railways, we could create a world-class network of safe, car free cycle routes that are ideally located for commuters." He said early studies of a SkyCycle system indicated that it provided capacity at a much lower cost than building new roads and tunnels.

Almost six million people live within the catchment area of the proposed network. Almost three million people live and work within 10 minutes of a proposed SkyCycle entrance. Each route can accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour. SkyCycle is expected to improve cycling journey times by up to 29 minutes. Between 2006 and 2011 the number of cycling casualties on the roads rose by half.

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