A new cycleway has opened in South East London, providing a fully protected cycle route to central London for the first time.
The 3.6km route runs between Tower Bridge Road and Rotherhithe and forms part of Cycleway 4.
The route has historically been busy and a number of people have been seriously injured cycling along it in recent years. The work, which includes overhauling Rotherhithe roundabout and creating three new pedestrian crossings, will help reassure cyclists that they can travel safely.
The new cycleway opens as commuters and leisure travellers continue to turn to cycling as an alternative to public transport during the pandemic; TfL data has shown strong increases in the numbers of people cycling in London since the pandemic started, with an increase in cycling of 97% seen recently on the weekend of 19-20 September, compared to the same weekend last year.
Three new Santander Cycles docking stations have also opened along the route. The new docking stations at Tower Wharf, George Row and Rotherhithe roundabout are the first to open in this part of the city and provide bike hire for £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes, within a 24-hour period. New docking stations at nearby Canada Water and Bermondsey station will follow later this year.
The newly opened section of Cycleway 4 is the first part of a longer route towards Woolwich, which will be one of London’s longest cycle routes once complete. Work on a further section of the route between Greenwich and Charlton was brought forward and began at the start of September.
It’s also the first permanent section of Cycleway to be completed since the coronavirus pandemic began. Latest work has also seen hundreds of temporary Streetspace schemes created across the capital, including nearly 80km of new or upgraded cycle lanes.
Gareth Powell, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, said: “We’ve seen thousands of extra cycling journeys every week since the pandemic began, as people across London discover the health and environmental benefits of getting around by bike. The vital new Cycleway and docking stations will be a major boost to people living in Rotherhithe, Bermondsey and beyond and I’d like to thank everybody in the area for their patience during construction work.”
He added: “We’ll continue to work closely with Southwark Council on our Streetspace programme and are pressing ahead with our bold plans to make streets across London safer and more attractive to people walking and cycling.”
TfL has also recently launched an Active Travel Toolkit for employers who are interested in making active travel commuting options part of their recovery plans and beyond. The toolkit shows employers how they can best enable people to get to work on foot and by bike and is available on the TfL website.