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Truckers grumpy about Boris cycle-Crossrail plan

London Mayor Boris Johnson’s plan for a 29km ‘Crossrail for bicycles’ has prompted a lukewarm response from the road transport industry.

The proposed east-to-west route could allow cyclists to travel from Barking to Acton almost completely segregated from traffic.

Victoria Embankment cycle Crossrail

The proposed ‘cycle Crossrail’ at Victoria Embankment.

But the Freight Transport Association (FTA) warned Johnson to remember that “the people of London depend on goods being delivered and collected”.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s head of policy for London said: “FTA supports the development of new cyclist infrastructure which is targeted on improving safety for cyclists, and believes it can provide real benefits. But cyclists are only one user of the road and the needs of all must be considered – Londoners depend on the goods our members supply every hour of every day. It is important that these schemes are carried out in such a way that does not unduly disrupt traffic flow or prevent kerbside access for deliveries to businesses and homes.”

The FTA added that it must be recognised that delivery and servicing activity does not only take place in high street locations but on many different street types including residential streets, and full segregation in these locations may hinder access for deliveries.

The Association favours the use of other measures such as ‘armadillos’ or giant cat’s eyes which provide partial segregation stronger than painted white lines, but at the same time enable vehicles to access the kerbside.

Chapman added: “Transport for London has engaged well with the freight industry on the CS5 route and detailed sessions on this proposed new north-south-east-west route are already planned, which is good. FTA wants this new scheme to work for all road users, so it is important that the right conversations take place with industry to ensure that new road layouts achieve this aim.”

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