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London’s Cycleway network will have quadrupled since 2016 as a major new Cycleway opens

By the end of March, London’s Cycleway network will have quadrupled since 2016, from 90km to more than 360km. Cycleway 4, a major route between central London and Greenwich, is now complete, with a new section connecting Rotherhithe, Surrey Quays and Deptford. In the past twelve months, 20 new Cycleway routes have opened, connecting more than 600,000 Londoners to the cycle network.A new Santander Cycles day pass launched this week, allowing unlimited journeys under 30 minutes all day from £3, making this one of the most affordable ways to travel in the capital. Transport for London (TfL) and Southwark Council have completed work on Lower Road in southeast London. This new section of Cycleway 4, the latest to be completed, now enables people to cycle safely all the way from London Bridge to Greenwich. It is a vital part of TfL's commitment to expand the cycle network, making it even safer, easier and more affordable for people to travel around London.

The completion of Cycleway 4 means that TfL and London boroughs will have quadrupled the size of the strategic cycle network from 90km in 2016 to over 360km by the end of this month. The rapid expansion of the network in recent years means that nearly a quarter of Londoners now live within 400m of a high-quality route. The new Cycleways are supporting many more people to cycle, by making it more inclusive and removing barriers that stop some Londoners from cycling, with recent TfL data showing that the number of daily cycle journeys has increased to 1.26 million in 2023, a 20 per cent rise compared to 2019.

TfL has also launched a new day pass for Santander Cycles this week, which allows unlimited journeys under 30 minutes all day from £3 and makes Santander Cycles one of the most affordable ways to travel in the capital. TfL is also on track to add an additional 1,400 new e-bikes to the scheme this summer, more than tripling the number available to hire and further expanding access to cycling.

Since 2016, TfL’s work alongside London’s boroughs has been crucial to the continued rollout of a number of significant new Cycleways in the capital, as well as extensions to existing Cycleways. Major additions to the network include:  

C4 between Tooley Street and Greenwich  
C9 between Hammersmith and Kew Bridge  
C17 along Rosendale Road in Lambeth  
C24 between Tottenham Hale and Walthamstow  
C38 between Angel and Finsbury Park  
C42 between Ilford and Barking Riverside  
Work to complete the ‘missing section’ of C1 between Edmonton and White Hart Lane, enabling continuous cycling between the M25 and City of London  
On Lower Road, the new section of Cycleway 4 includes 1.3km of protected two-way cycle lanes, which connects the previously completed sections on Jamaica Road and Evelyn Street. As well as the new Cycleway, a new signalised pedestrian crossing has been installed outside the entrance to Southwark Park, further improving pedestrian safety and accessibility. Cycleway 4 now connects central London and Greenwich, with further connections to Cycleways 10 and 14, and has eight new and 28 upgraded pedestrian crossings along the route in total, along with six Santander Cycles docking stations.  

During the next financial year, TfL will continue to work with London’s boroughs to deliver more high-quality cycling schemes with £19.5m of investment already announced. This funding will complete Cycleways between Lea Bridge and Dalston, between Deptford and Deptford Creek and Hammersmith and Kensington Olympia. This funding will also progress design and delivery of Cycleways across Bexley, Harrow, Hounslow, Newham and Redbridge.

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “I’m delighted that work on Cycleway 4 is now complete, meaning people cycling can travel more easily and safely from London Bridge all the way to Greenwich. Its completion also means the Mayor, TfL and London boroughs will hit the milestone of quadrupling the size of the strategic cycle network from 90km in 2016 to over 360km by the end of this month.

“Improving our infrastructure and making cycling as accessible as possible for accessible Londoners lies at the heart of the Mayor’s vision for a safer and greener London for everyone.”

Helen Cansick, TfL’s Head of Healthy Streets Investment, said: “Our continued work in expanding the Cycleway network throughout the capital unlocks access to cycling for many more thousands of Londoners. The new section of Cycleway 4 is the final piece of the puzzle connecting London Bridge all the way to Greenwich.

“Since 2016, the size of the cycle network in London has quadrupled. This is testament to the work of the Mayor, TfL and London’s boroughs and enables even more people to safely travel around the capital by bike, including those in greater London. We'll continue to work closely with boroughs to connect even more of the capital to our high-quality cycle network."

Jakub Mamczak, Senior Campaigns Officer at London Cycling Campaign, said: “London Cycling Campaign has campaigned for Cycleway 4 for decades. We’re so happy to see it finally open! Even before the Lower Road gap was closed, you could see thousands of people cycling on it that would never have done so before. A connected and coherent, safe cycle network is the vital next step for our city to take to enable Londoners to embrace cycling as a healthy, clean, sustainable transport mode – already cycle journeys in London match up to a third of all Tube journeys. We’re looking forward to the next routes coming from the Mayor, TfL and all boroughs so London can truly become a cycling city.”  

Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “In Southwark we’re doing a huge amount of work to make the borough more cycle-friendly. The extension of Cycleway 4 is a crucial piece of the puzzle and helps to make cycling an easier option as we seek to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. In addition to our 700 cycle hangars, which provide 4,200 cycle spaces, we’re improving walking and cycling routes to schools and hope that together these efforts encourage even more residents to get on two wheels.”

TfL's updated Cycling Action Plan 2, published last year, highlights the fundamental role cycling plays in making a greener, more progressive, modern city. The plan outlines why it is essential to broaden the appeal of cycling to a more diverse range of Londoners to ensure cycling levels continue to increase at pace and that all Londoners benefit from the health and economic benefits of cycling. TfL's research shows that people from under-represented groups are open to taking up cycling, but experience different barriers, and the plan outlines ambitious evidence-led measures to support these groups by addressing these barriers.  

TfL is focusing on providing new and innovating wayfinding solutions including installing on-street signs, producing new TfL cycle maps and collaborating with third-party navigation app providers. Informed by TfL insights, Google has updated their algorithms to prioritise cycling on quieter roads or roads supported with cycling infrastructure, and made them easier to discover within Google Maps.  

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