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TfL dispels criticism of cycle superhighways

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Transport for London (TfL) inists that its cycle superhighways are delivering benefits to Londoners, despite critcism that the cycle network increases congestion with little benefit to cyclists. 

The Licensed Taxi Divers Association (LTDA) called on Mayor Sadiq Khan to re-think the cycle superhighway scheme, claiming that it increases delays to traffic and more pollution as a result.

It comes after TfL data revealed that the number of daily cyclists along the Embankment cycle superhighway had only risen by 18% since it was installed in 2016, increasing from 3,990 daily riders to 4,744. 

The creation of the Embankment cycle superhighway has also increased journey times for road traffic by seven minutes in off-peak times and 15 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours - something the LTDA claims is proof the cycle superhighways are not ‘‘delivering value for money’’.  

However, TfL surface transport director of strategy and network development Ben Plowden insits that the cycle superhighways benefit London as a whole, not just cyclists, and that cycling is still the fastest growing transport mode.  

“Cycling is the fastest growing form of transport in London, with the number of journeys growing by 154% since 2000 – new and safer cycling infrastructure brings a wide range of benefits to everyone, by reducing danger to the most vulnerable road users, improving air quality and health, making more efficient use of road-space and boosting local economies and tourism,” he said.

TfL has said in the past that if every Londoner “cycled for 20 minutes a day it would save the NHS £1.7bn over the next 25 years”, 

A TfL spokeswomen insisted that the cycle super highway was not just about increasing the number of cyclists. 

The spokesperson added: “The Embankment superhighway is the most popular of the superhighways built so far and that we are investing record amounts in building cycle superhighways so they are the same quality, the same standard and that well used. 

“We built it [the superhighway] to make it safer for everyone who was using the road.” 

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