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Mayor announces £1bn 'Crossrail for cyclists'

London mayor Boris Johnson has promised a “Crossrail for cyclists” as part of a £1bn investment in road improvements over the next 10 years intended to get more people riding bikes in London.

A 24km cycle route running west to east across London, like Crossrail, will use a mix of new segregated lanes on existing roads such as the A4 Westway Flyover and new cyclepath across Victoria Embankment and other landmarks in the capital.

The route, claimed to be the longest segregated cycleway in Europe, will run from western suburbs through central London to Canary Wharf and Barking.

Johnson’s plans, announced in a new Mayor’s Vision for Cycling’ include construction of a new network of cycle routes following and named after familiar Tube and bus routes in London. This will be done with £100M of junction improvements and Dutch style segregated cycling lanes.

“Helping cycling will not just help cyclists,” said Johnson. “It will create better places for everyone. It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich. It means more seats on the Tube, less competition for a parking place and fewer cars in front of yours at the lights.”

“Above all, it will fulfil my aim of making London’s air cleaner. If just 14% of journeys in central London were cycled, emissions would fall by almost a third and over the years literally thousands of lives could be saved.”

Other cycling improvements promised include a network of signposted ‘Quietway’ routes away from busy traffic. Existing and proposed Cycle Superhighways will be extended and around £100M of investment is pledged for creating ‘mini-Hollands’ in a select number of London boroughs. Transport for London will also trial cycle-friendly roundabouts and eye-level traffic lights.

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