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Cycle lane to be kept open during Victoria Embankment road closure 'as a priority'

Joe Robinson
28 Jun 2018

Potential major works sees partial closure to Victoria Embankment although cycle lane to be kept open

With the Victoria Embankment set to close between Westminster Bridge and Southwark Bridge later this Summer, Transport for London has announced it will keep the cycle superhighway open for cyclists throughout the construction.

Trial holes are scheduled to be drilled throughout the Victoria Embankment as checks are made as to whether two gas mains are under threat from damage due to the sewer below the surface. This procedure is expected to take six weeks from 6th August.

However, despite the road being completely closed to motorised traffic, TfL confirmed to Cyclist that it will prioritse cycling traffic by keeping the segregated cycleway, which carries over 10,000 cyclists per day, open.

'We looked for any over viable routes for cyclists to take and decided there were no other safe routes,' a spokesman from TfL said.

'Therefore, we kept the cycle superhighway as a priority and came to the decision to shut the road westbound as opposed to the cycle lane.

'What we are saying is that we would rather keep the cycle lane open for the 12,000 users a day than anything else.'

The six weeks of work scheduled for August could also see extended works in 2019 with the possibility of large scale excavation on the busy road in order to replace the current sewer system.

It has been rumoured that further work could take as long as six months although TfL affirmed its wish to keep the cycle superhighway functioning indefinitely, which will be much to the despair of critics of the superhighway who have incorrectly citied it as the major cause of congestion in that area of London.

Since February the East-West CS3 along the Embankment has registered over 650,000 users with over 350,000 in the past six weeks.

This decision to put cycle commuters first is a massive step forward for a city that has struggled in its relationship with cycling and its pandering to motor vehicle users.

Although schemes such as the superhighways and 'mini-Holland' systems have been largely a resounding success, many pro-cycling campaigners have argued the progress has been too slow and lacked the ambition of fellow cities across Europe.

This week, cycling and walking commissioner for Greater Manchester Chris Boardman announced a £150 million a year investment into the development of the city's cycling network, the kind of initiative London and other cities and towns can only dream of.

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