Introducing London's Cycling Superhighways

Posted: Sep 24 2014

One of the great attractions of moving to London to work as a teacher is that there are many famous and historic landmarks close to the centre of the city that can be visited. For teachers and indeed everyone living in the city, getting around can present challenges even though there are a range of options available.

While there are taxis and buses, of course, not to mention the Tube, each of these has disadvantages such as cost and overcrowding. The same goes for the overground rail system. This network is being upgraded with the addition of Crossrail, a 118-kilometre (73-mile) railway line that is due to begin full operation in 2018, serving London and the surrounding area by providing a new east-west route across Greater London.

Buying a car is another possibility although driving through central London is not for the faint-hearted. The introduction of the congestion charge for motorists who drive into central London at peak times has meant that this is now a very expensive option.

But there is one other possible alternative that offers a healthy and economical way to commute and sightsee and that is to use a bicycle. The level of road traffic in London may be heavy but the growing number of cycle routes is making pedal power an increasingly popular choice for residents of the city.

With this in mind we think that anyone moving to London for a teaching job may find the recent announcement from Transport for London unveiling plans for two new Cycle Superhighways to be of particular interest.  This huge project has really bought into focus the efforts that are being made to make London a cyclist-friendly city. The proposals include creating two continuous routes that will stretch for miles crossing central London from east to west and north to south, and subject to final consultations could be open as early as March 2016, with work scheduled to commence early next year.

The north-south route will run for more than three miles from Elephant & Castle to King’s Cross, while the east-west route will run from Barking to Acton, a distance of more than 18 miles. It is clear that this commitment to cycling is going to make travel by bike in London, whether for commuting to and from school for work or for exploring the city as a leisure pursuit, a much more attractive proposition. Physical separation of cycles from other traffic along almost all of the routes is a key feature of the scheme. This will give much greater protection to cyclists along some of central London’s busiest roads and will serve to encourage more people to use these safe and convenient routes.