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Arup team proposes floating Thames cycleway for London

An Arup team has created a proposal for a floating cycleway on the Thames in London.

Thames cycleway

The River Cycleway Consortium, which also includes Hugh Broughton Architects, was founded by architect David Nixon and social entrepreneur Anna Hill, who are driving the scheme.

The construction cost of the cycleway – called the Thames Deckway – is estimated at £600M. It would be funded privately, with investors recouping their outlay through a flat-rate single ticket price of £1.50.

A statement from the consortium said: “The river Thames, London’s main transportation thoroughfare from Roman times up to the 19th century, is overlooked today as a major travel artery except for a handful of passenger boats. The Thames offers vast, untapped potential to ease and improve London’s infrastructure problems.

“Proposed as the first step in reinvigorating the river’s historical role as a major movement corridor is a unique concept for a floating pathway called the Thames Deckway. It complements Transport for London’s plan for a new east-west cycling route through central London on the river’s north side by running a similar route on the south side along the river itself.

Designed for cyclists and pedestrians, the Deckway would stretch for 12 kilometres along the river from Battersea to Canary Wharf. It would run close to the river’s edge, away from the main navigation channel, and rise and fall with the Thames’ tidal cycle. There would be embankment ramps at strategic intervals and stopping points. Traffic density, traffic flow, river motion, river wave and any hazardous traffic or weather conditions would be monitored by satellites, weather stations and on-board sensors that relay information directly to the Thames Deckway’s users.

The River Cycleway Consortium is now seeking funding for a study of the project’s environmental, operational, constructional and financial feasibility. It said that once finance is in place, the Deckway could be operational within two years.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Interesting view from Copenhagens bicycle officer in this article

    Crazy Bladerunner-style ideas like Lord Foster’s SkyCycle dream prove that cycling for transport is still sadly misunderstood. As Marie Kåstrup from Copenhagen’s Bicycle Office has said, even if Copenhagen had the money to build a version of SkyCycle, they wouldn’t bother. They’re not interested in ‘magpie architecture’ – trying to attract people to big, shiny things that dazzle but that have little functional value.

    The money should be spent elsewhere on lots of low value schemes that attract much more cyclists.

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  • Timothy, It's always nicer to think there's one big solution to a problem such as cycling in London though isn't it! Good read, that article, I particularly like the idea of the "green wave".

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