3
Aug
2011

The New Superhighway Routes

I’m always pushing cycling in London – much like the Mayor, I suppose. I’m not sure why he’s pushing it so hard, but I’m pushing it because it officially costs £2.90 to get from Southfields to South Kensington on the District line with an Oyster, and £3.40 to travel from Earlsfield to Waterloo on the train. One way. Get lost.

If you can do it for free on a bike, you should. Whoever’s really in charge of transport – I don’t imagine for one minute that it’s actually Boris – has woken up to the fact that an obstacle to the imagined fabulous bicycle utopia is an overwhelming desire on the part of the public to avoid being flattened by a vehicle.

As such, you may have noticed that, in central London at least, there are now extra lanes on some of the stretches of road – not quite big enough for a car but probably big enough for three bikes to cycle abreast (not that you should) – painted a vivid shade of blue. These are the Superhighways. Technically, they are the BCS’s – the Barclays Cycle Superhighways. Since Barclays are bankrolling this gig they should probably get a mention. The Superhighways are there in an attempt to give cyclists a fair chance of safety and, presumably, to brighten up the streets.

And they work. I’ve even used one, so I can say that. I cycled along the Thames, near Millbank, on a Saturday afternoon, on one of the clunky, chunky Boris Bikes on my way to Vauxhall, and not once did my life flash before my eyes. I really did feel pretty safe. London honestly is prettier from a bike and, let’s face it, how much exercise do you actually get in your regular day to day life?

Anyway, the point of saying this now in particular is that several new routes have just opened recently, and while you may have had an earnest letter through your front door about it, you may well also have just thrown it straight in the recycling bin. So, allow me to do a quick rundown of the routes available – you never know, they might be conveniently near you. They are the CS2: from Bow to Aldgate; the CS3: from Barking to Tower Gateway; the CS7: from Merton to the City; and the CS8: from Wandsworth to Westminster.  They have more on the agenda, to be added next year.

Now then, do they have Boris Bikes available at all these origins? Uh, no, not yet. But the point is, they’re adding to the flock as they go, so stay tuned for that, and in the meantime, buy a bike – it’ll almost certainly be cheaper than public transport these days.

To find about out the Barclays Cycle Superhighway, click here.

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