The bulldozers have already begun work on London’s ‘cycle superhighways’ or ‘Crossrail for bikes’. Cycling enthusiasts have declared these segregated lanes to be the infrastructure which London needs to make cycling much more appealing for all. Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner says if Transport for London can get the engineering right then cycling in the capital will become safer and far more people might make the switch from cars, buses and trains to carbon free pedal power. The potential carbon and congestion savings are huge, up to 25% of transport emissions if we can reach the levels of cycling now seen in Copenhagen, and those who cycle are also healthier. However, to replicate Dutch or Danish bike culture cycling’s appeal must move beyond the lycra-clad males to become the first choice for women, children and older people too.
Tom Heap finds out if these cycle superhighways can really deliver for the capital and if the huge amounts of money being spent here and elsewhere across the country can ensure a cycling revolution for all of Britain’s would-be bikers.