Parliament Square in Westminster should be re-designed

The public open space outside the Mother of Parliaments should be re-designed as a place for MPs to talk to constituents and demonstrators. It was filled with protesters on 15th January 2019. This was the day on which the first ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit was lost by 230 votes, the largest such margin in history. The atmosphere was very good-natured with individuals and groups from all over the UK waving flags and trying to persuade each other. Since the debate began after noon, there was plenty of time for MPs to come out of the Palace of Westminster and to show they care by talking to their employers. But the design of the public open space is not very well suited to this purpose. It’s cut about by roads and there’s little space on College Green for flag-wavers to get between the broadcasters and the Houses of Parliament. Trafalgar Square is better suited to events but is at the wrong end of Whitehall. Speakers Corner, in Hyde Park, is now too noisy for the speakers to be heard and attracts small audiences. If the roads on the north and west sides of Parliament Square were closed to traffic (like the north side of Trafalgar Square) it would be a much better space.

This is the oldest public space in London (outside the City). It came into existence when the Palace and Abbey of Westminster were built and was used rather like the bailey of a medieval castle. People coming to the Palace of Westminster gathered in what were then called the Old and New Palace Yards. When Parliament was rebuilt after the great fire of 1834 New Palace Yard became private to the palace. The space to the west, and additional land then occupied by houses, was laid out as Parliament Square. After a demonstration for parliamentary reform in 1866 the Square was redesigned by Charles Barry’s son, and fenced off with railings to stop demos. In 1950-1 it was re-designed as a space open to the public but had little use because of the heavy traffic what became London’s first traffic island. In 2015, when the Cycle Superhighway CS3 was built, pedestrian crossings were made and use of the space increased. With permission from the Metropolitan Police it can be used for demonstrations.

Old Palace Yard became a car park for the House of Lords. It is ugly and the land on the other side of the road, known as College Green, is much used for outside broadcasts because they like to work from glass cabins with a good view of the Houses of Parliament. One possibility for road closures is shown below. What’s needed is a consideration of alternatives and a landscape design competition.

Parliament square design

The public open spaces west of the Houses of Parliament should be designed so that they can used for MPs to meet people (and closed to vehicular traffic about once a month for important events). A design competition is needed to generate ideas.

Landscape competition

The aim of the Parliament Square Landscape Competition would be to make it a better place demonstrations: (1) show how the public open space (which used to be Old Palace Yard and New Place Yard) could be managed when big events are taking place (2) have an eye to future changes to the design of the public open space when the ideas have been ‘road tested’ (3) make the whole area less of a traffic artery and more of the kind of place, as it used to be, where the people meet their rulers (4) give effect to one small step towards direct democracy (5) help make democracy more democratic!

Posted in landscape architecture, urban design

Death on the TfL London Cycle Network in 2018

Ghost bike and twin brother

TfL map of Quietway 1 (with route in purple) + survey to show how much of the route is segregated from other traffic (in blue) and the location of uncontrolled junctions (in red) [DO2 MAPS?]

This draft cannibalised for a post on cycle deaths

The London Cycle Network LCN  is dead but unburied

London cycling commissioner Will Norman declares in the video that ‘Cycling is very safe in London.’  But there are twice as many serious accidents per mile cycled as in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Imagine if breast cancer survival rates were three times as bad in London. Would Norman tell us that getting your treatment in London was safe?

The London Cycle Network  LCN was marked with white bikes on the road to ‘direct and assist cyclists’.  Work on the LCN ended c2010 but the signs have not been removed and the ‘assistance’ it provides to cyclists is in directing them to an early grave. In 2018, so far, half the cyclist deaths in London have been on designated LCN routes:

  1. Oliver Speke died on the A206 Romney Road on LCN18, May
  2. Edgaras Cepura, A206 by the Woolwich Road roundabout May 18 on  LCN18 and LCN64
  3. Antonio Marchesini, Jun 2018 Childers Street, on World Bicycle Day on LCN2,now Q1
  4. Shane Murtagh Hammond, July at Battersea Queens Circus on Cycle Superhighway 8 and LCN5
  5. Dr Peter Fisher High Holborn at the junction with Newton Street August 2018 Cycle to Work Day Quietway 1 and LCN 39
  6. Peter Harris Bestwood Street and Evelyn Street September 2018 on the ‘secret’ LCN183

London has 9,215 miles of road and the London Cycle Network was about 2500 km = 1,553 miles 16%  = 3 times (3×16=48%) as likely to be killed on the LCN as on an average London road – so nine times as likely as on a Dutch cycleway. [or LCN+ 900km =559 miles OR  6%]

I suppose the law protects engineers from doing anything wrong but if I were a barrister and my cyclist/partner was killed on the LCN, I’d sue them. I was delighted when the white bikes appeared on London roads in the 1970s but if I was the boss of TfL I would either re-classify them as ‘meaningless road decorations’ or take a blow torch to them. [Good to do an eBook on London cycle planning with video links).


TfL definition: ‘Quietways are continuous and convenient cycle routes on less-busy backstreets across London’.

Criticism:  (1) London’s entire 9,215 mile network of roads is ‘continuous’  (2) the first generation of Quietways is not convenient for commuters, because it is an indirect route on backstreets, and it is not convenient for leisure use, because so much of the length (shown in black) is merely an exercise in road marking. It lacks safety and it lacks scenic quality. Your children would need to be in their mid-teens before you let them cycle here.

Suggested criteria: the blue and green sections on the above map are suitable for children and for leisure use. The black sections are semi-quiet roads suitable for local access to shops, colleges, stations etc and for connecting to long-distance commuter cycleways. WHY not map busy roads instead of quiet roads? Or, if so few changes are being made, why not map all quiet roads?


Leisure cycleways should be (1) safe for children (2) medium to high landscape quality

Posted in London cycle network, London Cycleway Plan

London Cycle Action Plan TfL: a review

Figure 7 in Chapter 4 is as near as the Action Plan gets to a real plan. The caption is ‘Priority connections for a London-wide cycle network for 2041 (is reproduced from the Strategic Cycling Analysis, June 2017)’. Note that they are ‘priorities’. Without a phasing plan and a budget allocation it’s just wishful thinking – an ‘Inaction Plan’.

The Guardian is too kind when it says the London Cycle Action Plan is ‘bold but has a major flaw’. It has many major flaws. But before looking at them let’s note the document’s good points:

  1. It acknowledges that London’s cycle infrastructure is woeful in comparison to that of other north European countries
  2. It acknowledges that the terms ‘Superhighway’ and ‘Quietway’ confuse cyclists
  3. TfL is right to integrate the planning of segregated cycleways with policies for liveable neighbourhoods and healthy streets
  4. The Action Plan promises systematic assessments of cycle routes and a replacement for TfL’s wretchedly inadequate cycle maps.
  5. TfL ‘hopes‘ to double the mode share of cycling in London by 2024, much as a 1998 plan hoped to double it by 2004 and quadruple it by 2012.
  6. The Appendix lists construction projects the Boroughs plan to implement.

In the Foreword, Will Norman compares London adversely with Holland and Denmark. Good. But he should have analysed what’s wrong with London cycle infrastructure. In brief,  the London Cycle Network was a fraud and much of it should be decommissioned. The last paragraph of the Foreword states that  cycling is ‘not an end in itself’. This may be true of commuter cycling. But it is not true of the two thirds of UK trips made for leisure purposes. Many of us ride because we love it. Cycling can be a delightful exercise in delightful surroundings.  TfL should help plan the delightful surroundings: strategic leisure cycling routes and healthy enjoyable commuter cycling routes.

Cycleways should be designed for commuting AND for recreation

Chapter 1 is full of hot air and is only worth reading for the figures of £9.3bn, for the estimated annual cost of congestion, and £1.4bn-£3.7bn, for the estimated yearly cost of  air quality.

Chapter 2 opens with the statement that ‘Our aim is to make London the world’s best big city for cycling by creating an environment where everyone who wants to cycle can do so’.  This is good to read if you like hype. But HOW does TfL propose to achieve its aim. By ‘encouraging’ cycling? Or by drawing up a realistic plan and then investing in adequate infrastructure?  The document does not say what sums of money or what percentage of the TfL budget might be allocated to cycling. I’d like to read that the target mode share for cycling is 25% and so 25% of the TfL budget will go to cycle infrastructure.

Chapter 3 tells us that ‘Cycling in London has more than doubled since 2000’.  But this was from a low base and much larger increases took place in Berlin, Paris, New York, Amsterdam etc and much of the London rise would probably have taken place without any action from TfL. It was caused by changes in London’s population, by congestion and by the rising cost of public transport.  TfL research shows that, as everyone has known for years, the primary reason given for not cycling is that ‘almost half of all Londoners are put cycling by fear of collisions’. The chapter concludes by stating, as everyone also knows, that a great many trips in London could be better done by bike. It’s good to find these truths in an official report but there is nothing fresh or new about them. As Labour MP said in 1997 ‘Given the strength of the argument for cycling, it is amazing that so little is being done. Other countries do much more. In this country, cycling is regarded as a slightly cranky occupation’.

Chapter 4  mentions two dates: 2024 and 2041. For 2024 the aim is to ‘almost double the number of cycle trips made every day in London (from 0.7 million in 2017 to 1.3 million in 2024)’.  This is not an ‘ambitious’ target and including the word ‘almost’ makes it defeatist. My guess is that the rise will take place without any new infrastructure being built.  By 2041, TfL hope that ‘Eighty per cent of journeys will be made by walking, cycling and public transport’. The problems with this are  (1) 2041 is 23 years away (2) instead of lumping them together there should be separate mode share targets for walking, cycling, bus and train (3) TfL should remind readers that cycling is the fastest-growing transport mode in London and can be expanded much faster and at much lower cost than bus or train. Walking is also cheap but getting people to walk anything other than short trips will be difficult (4) To deserve the adjective ‘ambitious’ TfL should build sufficient cycle infrastructure to raise the mode share of cycling by 1% each year until 2041. This would give us a mode share of 10% in 2024 and a mode share of 25%. For the investment made in Crossrail 1 (£1.5bn/year) a London Cycleway Network could carry more passengers than Crossrail at a lower cost/trip. As mentioned on p.51 of the Action Plan, building CS3 on Lower Thames Street doubled the flow of cyclists in two years. If CS3 were part of a Londonwide network of segregated routes the traffic growth would be much larger. With all transport infrastructure you don’t get the full value until you have a network.

Chapter 5 has  the welcome statement that: ‘At the core of our ambition for cycling is a London-wide cycle network, spanning the whole of Greater London’. But the next paragraph states that ‘Today, the London-wide cycle network consists of the routes delivered in partnership by TfL and the boroughs in recent years, including Cycle Superhighway and Quietway routes’. This is really bad news because (1) what London has now is a network of routes:  it is not a network of cycleways (2) as noted above. the London Cycle Network was a fraud. It should not be supported or improved. Too many of the routes have nothing to do with origins or destinations. They go from nowhere, through nowhere, to nowhere. These routes should  decommissioned. In 2018,  66.7% of cycle fatalities in London were on TfL’s London Cycle Network and 22.2% of them were on TfL’s flagship Quietway 1. (3) p 53 states that  the terms Superhighway and Quietway will be replaced by ‘a single brand for all high-quality cycle routes’. Re-branding is not the first requirement: most of the routes need to be re-planned and re-designed. TfL staff, I believe, would like to do a good job on London cycle planning but they do not have adequate support from the Mayor or from the TfL Board. So organisations like Stop Killing Cyclists need to ramp up their protests and seek the support from the cycling charities.


Posted in cycleways, London cycle network, urban design

Four step model for bicycle network infrastructure planning

Traditional four step models provide a rational framework for transport forecasting (see Wiki). The 4 steps are trip generation, trip distribution, mode choice and route assignment. It is a predictive model and was often used to ‘predict and provide‘ additional capacity for road transport. This gave the model a role in the creation of car-based cities. But it need not have been used in this way. Predictions can be used to make a case for investing in public transport systems including rail, bus, walking and cycle infrastructure networks. The names associated with this approach include Travel Management, Mode Share Planning and ‘predict and decide‘. Investment decisions should be guided by, but not decided by, Benefit Cost Analysis. Each transport mode has advantages and disadvantages, each functions best as a city-wide network – and each functions best when integrated with the other networks.

Mass transit assessment chart

Comparison chart: costs and benefits of mass transit by bike, bus, taxi, car, train, tram and walking

See also 

16 Principles for Cycleway Network Planning

Sustainable Mass Rapid Transit by light rail, bus and bicycle: a comparison

Bicycle network planning and design : in Edinburgh, Cambridge and London


Posted in cycleways, urban design

16 Principles for Cycleway Network Planning

London is a great place to learn about planning cycle infrastructure Because it has made many mistakes and because of its recent success. It has learned what to do and what not to do. Drawn from London’s 84 years of building cycle facilities, and my own 45 years of using them, the video, above, recommends 16 principles on which to base cycleway network planning. To help planners assess their validity, statements of the 16 principles are followed, in the video, with ironical statements of  the 16 converse principles. When cycle infrastructure projects are put to consultation they usually attract majority support. But they also encounter bitter opposition from taxi drivers and from car drivers who rely on private vehicles. Cycle planners need to appreciate both sides of the argument. Here are the 16 recommended principles for cycleway planning:

  1. Set the level of investment in cycle infrastructure to match the target mode share (eg allocate 1% of the transport budget to cycling to achieve a mode share of 1%, or 20% to achieve a mode share of 20%). Cycleway networks are a highly cost-effective way of investing in the public goods of transport, leisure, health, amenity and sustainability. A modal shift to cycling makes roads less congested. The UK Department for Transport, puts the average benefit-cost ratio (BCR) for investment in cycling at 5.5:1, which is approaching three times the typical 2:1 ratio for approving investments in public transport. Compared to powered transport, cycleway maintenance costs are imperceptible. So when the target mode share has been achieved investment levels can return to present levels.
  2. Invest in both commuter and leisure cycleways. They are equally important; they attract similar user numbers; the two cycleway types can work together.
  3. Give commuter cyclists the shortest possible direct links between significant origins and significant destinations. This principle applies both at the local scale and the city scale.
  4. Give leisure cyclists both loops and trails. If the scenic quality of a cycleway is high, commuters may choose to use leisure facilities in preference to shorter A-to-B routes for getting to work.
  5. Use leaf and branch network patterns for cycleways. Trees are transport systems and leaf-patterns work well for cycleway network planning. The loops facilitate journeys to shops, stations, parks, hospitals and other destinations.
  6. Large cities should emulate and then surpass the cycling mode share of Tokyo, which is the World’s Largest Metropolitan Area. The table shows London with a mode share of 2% and Tokyo with 20%. At the city scale, size need not limit the cycling mode share.
  7. Use the principle of filtered permeability to make cycling the quickest transport mode for trips up to at least 5 km. Closing minor roads to non-cycle through traffic is a city-friendly policy.
  8. Do not conceive, plan or design cycleways as ‘mini-roads’ and do not plan them to run beside ‘maxi-roads’, except as a last resort. Remember that cycling is different.
  9.  Plan cycleways, instead of cycle routes, and do not use road signs or road markings to attract cyclists to dangerous routes.
  10. Relate the width of cycleways both to predicted traffic volumes and to aesthetic considerations. Breadth and narrowness are scenic qualities. Well-mannered cyclists are happy to slow down or walk when near pedestrians.
  11. Every cycleway should be a context-sensitive design, even if some use of design codes is necessary.
  12. Design different types of bikeway for different categories of bike user (in tems of widths, surfacings, gradients etc). The cyclists have different preferences and their bikes have different tyres.
  13. Use standard horizontal curves and vertical curves only for the busiest and fastest cycle tracks. Remember that some cyclists are less able-bodied than others.
  14. Design most cycleways as greenways, in the sense of being ‘multi-objective routes that are good from an environmental point of view’. Not all greenways are within sight of vegetation.
  15. Instruct landscape architects to work with local cycling groups and with transport engineers to plan and design cycleways that, as well as being functional, have better scenery and a much better user experience than current world norms.
  16. Brief design teams to create cycleways that flow through the city, a source of joy and health to all who use them. Let urban landscapes billow across cycleways, revealing the city’s treasures.

London is 248th on City Clock’s listing of the cycling mode share in 700 large cities

See also:

London Commuter & Leisure Cycleway Network LCLCN

London Commuter & Leisure Cycleway Network LCLCN

How the London Principles would work in London

The GLA, the City Corporation and the 32 boroughs need to work with specialised agencies, trusts, charities, societies and local cycling groups to develop a comprehensive cycleway network for commuter and leisure use. Transport for London has taken a lead by creating cycle superhighways on the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN). TfL maps its 360 miles of road in red and calls them ‘red routes’. With cycle superhighways being built along them, they are becoming ‘red and green routes’. TflL maps cycle superhighways in blue. The above plan shows the TLRN in blue to indicate its default accommodation of segregated cycle lanes (where more direct routes are unavailable). Local cycleway loops are indicated in green. Their routes can include filtered residential roads, greenways, green streets, garden streets, pedestrianised high streets, park routes, safe routes to school, reservoir walks, river walks and canal walks. Shared walking-cycling routes work well, providing pedestrians have ethical and legal priority.

The cost of 180 miles of cycle superhighway routes has been estimated at £3.24 bn and, using the DfT Benefit:Cost Ratio of 5.5:1 the benefit would be  £17.8bn (using a cost of £12.5 million/mile for cycle superhighways: see Note 3).

Posted in cycleways, London cycle network, London Cycleway Plan

How to integrate cycling with urban design: Copenhagenize

People who ride bicycles want to get from A-to-B by the shortest and fastest route. Colville-Andersen’s diagrams show the idiocy of traffic engineers who imagine that because they are using muscle power they don’t mind taking longer and indirect routes with many gaps.

Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism by Mikael Colville-Andersen, Island Press, 2018, review by Tom Turner

The great strength of this book is its focus on bicycle planning being an aspect of urban design. Illustrations support this point: the book’s photographs are very good and its diagrams are really excellent. Thank you to Mikael and thank you to Island Press.

Planning for the bicycle must not be detached from other ways of using, interpreting and re-designing city landscapes. Personally, I am more supportive than Mikeal of the contribution transport engineers make to bicycle planning  (even the Four step model for bicycle network infrastructure planning could be adjusted). But I  agree that if traffic engineers are given exclusive responsibility for cycleways the results can be dire.  ‘Exclusive’ in this context means excluding the necessary contributions of bicycle users and urban  designers.

Bicycle planning requires knowledge and skill

Bicycle planning requires knowledge and skill in a range of disciplines

Transport planning began as a Modernist design process but is escaping, slowly, from this mould.  The involvement of architects exemplifies a postmodern trend. Mikael is hard on Copenhagen’s Inner Habour Bridge (Inderhavnsbroen) for its random and aesthetically conceived changes of direction. The design is postmodernist. Calling it ‘a stupid, stupid bridge’ Mikael sees it as ‘a beastly thing that is completely and utterly out of place in the delicate urban, historical, and architectural context of its location’. So it’s time for a post-Postmodern approach to bicycle planning, resting on beliefs as much as on rational decision making. It should draw upon the work of Ian McHarg and on the theories associated with landscape urbanism.

Another strength of the book is its broad international perspective. Very understandably, there are few references to London in the book (I counted five). But many of the faults in bicycle planning identified remain to be learned in London. On p.70 Mikael lambasts the US proposal for ‘Bicycle Boulevards’. Acknowledging that the term may be ‘wide and fancy-sounding’ he explains that ‘A bicycle boulevard is, in fact, a detour that keeps cyclists away from the natural desire lines of a city – out of sight, out of mind – and does little to prioritize cycling as a transport form. Lazy bicycle planning. Band-aid solutions by politicians.’ Exactly the same idea with exactly the same faults is found in the TfL Transport for London Quietway programme. That’s why the first Quietway had 22%  of London cyclist deaths in its first year of operation. [See Review of Q1  + Analysis of 2018 cycle fatalities in London.] Why don’t TfL employ Danish and Dutch bicycle planners?

Before TfL go any further with planning bi-directional cycle ‘superhighways’ it should read p.79 of this book: ‘Bidirectional cycle tracks pose a much higher risk to the cyclists than two one-directional ones. The difference on crossings is by a factor of 2’. When this lesson has been learned, TfL should modify its 2018 Action Plan for London Cycling to include a policy to switch from bidirectionality to unidirectionality.

Most countries have botched their cycle planning. A few countries, which Mikael Colville-Andersen has analysed, have learned how to make a better job of it. Why don’t the countries that are learning decide to learn from those that have learned? See p.175 ‘If, as I have said, the bicycle is the most important and powerful tool in our urban toolbox for making cities better…’.

For an example of the change that good bicycle planning can make to cities see:

And for more information see:

Copenhagenize London

Costs, benefits and cost benefit ratios of Crossrail and a Londonwide Cycleway Network.

16 Principles for Cycleway Network Planning

Four step model for bicycle network infrastructure planning

Bicycle network planning and design : in Edinburgh, Cambridge and London


  1. the term Copenhagenize has its origin in the British fleet’s confiscation of the Danish fleet in 1807
  2. here is a TedX lecture by Mikael Colville-Andersen
Posted in cycleways, landscape urbanism, London cycle network, urban design

Planning a Mass Rapid Transit Cycle Network

Planning for mass rapid transit cycle networks, using London as an example

Planning for mass rapid transit cycle networks, using London as an example

The points in this post are illustrated in a short eBook on planning a Mass rapid transit cycleway network for London. It is available for free download at medium resolution (please contact us if you would like a high-res copy). They are also explained in a video and listed below it.

1. The ‘London Cycle Network’  was a set of recommended cycling routes, launched by the GLC in 1981. Planning stopped in 2008 but it is still in use. The LCN uses signposts and road markings to advertise routes on dangerous roads and backstreets. It is a set of fragments  not a network of safe cycling facilities.

2. History will see TfL’s post-2015 ‘Cycle Superhighways’ as the first phase of a Londonwide Cycleway Network of dedicated infrastructure. TfL is planning a new network and expressed a hope of completing the first phase in 20412.

3. Cycling is Central London’s fastest-growing transport mode. The use of private cars, taxis and buses is in relative decline. They function increasingly less well because of population growth and consequent congestion.

4. For half the total trips undertaken in London, which are shorter than 8 miles, cycling is the fastest, healthiest, safest, cheapest and most sustainable transport mode.

5. But cycling is the safest mechanised transport mode only because daily exercise helps protect you from obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis.

6. The fatality rate for English cyclists is twice the rate in North European countries with decent cycle infrastructure. This is as unacceptable as it would be if the mortality rate from a surgical procedure were twice as high in the UK.

7. London requires a strategy to create Cycleway Rapid Transit (CRT) system – a Londonwide Cycleway Network. The Network should include leisure routes as well as commuter routes.

8. Strategic Cycleways should be planned, designed and funded by TfL, starting with the construction of cycleways on the 360 miles of the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN). The Red Routes should become Red and Green Routes.

9. Local Cycleways (for journeys to schools, shops, stations, parks, hospitals etc) should be planned, designed and funded by the London Boroughs using traffic calming measures (Mini-Holland/Liveable Neighbourhood etc).

10. Cycleways should be fully integrated with the other sustainable transport modes (bus, rail, walking) to create a Multi-mode Sustainable Transport System.

11. The London Cycleway Network requires funding and phasing. Funding should be related to mode share targets and supported by a Benefit Cost Analysis. Phasing should be ambitious and fast-paced.

12. The mode share of cycling in London should be increased by 2% per year: from 2.2% in 2019 to 14.6% in 2025 and 25% in 203012.

For further information please see

Posted in cycleways, urban design

Bicycle network planning and design: in Edinburgh, Cambridge and London

Bicycle network planning in London, Cambridge and Edinburgh

Bicycle network planning should be based on:

  • the principles of transport planning
  • the principles of landscape urbanism

This is because

  • The full functionality of cycle ways, paths, lanes, routes etc is realised only when they form part of a well-planned cycle network that is integrated with rail, bus, walking and road networks.
  • The design of high quality cycleways must be integrated with other aspects of urban landscape design (land use, topography, habitats, hydrology etc).

The city of Boston Massachusetts also has discontinuous cycle paths. They use the Emerald Necklace planned by the father of the landscape architecture profession, Frederick Law Olmsted, who had a deep influence on open space and landscape planning in London and in many other world cities. Olmsted lived till 1903 and could easily have become an enthusiast for cycling and cycle network planning. If only!

See also 


Posted in cycleways, London cycle network, urban design

Sustainable Mass Rapid Transit by light rail, bus and bicycle: a comparison

‘Rapid transit system’ is a term used for rail, bus and cycle networks. For trips up to 5 miles (8 km) cycle networks transport more people in less time than rail or bus networks. eBikes operated on cycle networks further reduce journey times and make cycle networks competitive for longer distances, up to 10 miles (16 km).

Compare mass rapid transport systems

For station-to-station trips rail is fastest. For door-to-door trips  up to  5-8 miles (8-12 km) cycling provides the shortest journey times unless you live and work beside stations. Bus rapid transit systems run at faster speeds than bikes but journeys take longer because they provide for few door-to-door journeys.

Comparison chart: costs and benefits of mass transit by bike, bus, taxi, car, train, tram

From the perspective of city planners, cycle transport has many advantages.

 For short to medium journeys cycling is faster, cheaper, healthier, more sustainable and more enjoyable than other rapid transit modes.

To realise the full value of cycle infrastructure:

  • cycle paths, bike lanes etc must be integrated with other mass transit networks by planning railway stations as hubs for local cycle networks
  • individual cycleways must be interconnected to form a network

Rail, bus, walking and cycling networks must be integrated

See also:

Costs, benefits and cost benefit ratios of Crossrail and a Londonwide Cycleway Network.

16 Principles for Cycleway Network Planning

Four step model for bicycle network infrastructure planning

Bicycle network planning and design : in Edinburgh, Cambridge and London
How to integrate cycling with urban design: Copenhagenize

Posted in cycleways, London cycle network

66.7% of cyclist fatalities in 2018 on TfL’s LCN London Cycle Network

In 2018, so far, nine cyclists have been killed in London and two thirds of these deaths were on routes signposted by Transport for London (TfL) as cycle routes. London has 9,215 miles of road and the London Cycle Network (LCN+)  extends to 560 miles. So 66.7% of cycle fatalities were on the 6% of London roads designated by TfL as cycle routes. Two of the deaths (22.2%)  were on TfL’s flagship Quietway 1:

  1. Oliver Speke died on the A206 Romney Road on LCN18, on 11th May  2018
  2. Edgaras Cepura died on the  A206 by the Woolwich Road roundabout, on  LCN18 and LCN64 on, 18th May 2018
  3. Antonio Marchesini died on Childers Street (on World Bicycle Day) on LCN2, now Quietway 1, on 14th June 2018
  4. Shane Murtagh Hammond died at Battersea Queens Circus, on Cycle Superhighway 8 and LCN5, on 9th July 2018
  5. Dr Peter Fisher died on High Holborn at the junction with Newton Street (on 2018 Cycle to Work Day), at the junction Quietway 1 and LCN 39, on 15th August 2018
  6. Peter Harris died on the junction of Bestwood Street and Evelyn Street, on LCN183, on 29th September 2018 

For the UK as a whole, cycling 1 mile is twice as dangerous as cycling the same distance in  Amsterdam or in Copenhagen. Imagine if breast cancer survival rates were twice as bad in London. Would Norman tell us that getting your treatment in London is safe? Cycling on the TfL London Cycle Network is much more dangerous than cycling on the rest of the road network. But our cycling commissioner, Will Norman, tells us in the below video that ‘Cycling is very safe in London.’ Obviously, most of the London Cycle Network should decommissioned. Only the safe sections should be retained. TfL should not signpost cyclists to early graves.


Posted in cycleways, London cycle network