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Gallery: RideLondon events show what's possible when people are prioritised over cars

Clearly this is an extreme example, with whole swathes of the capital given over to pedestrians and cyclists, but it show what's possible

A closed-road loop of one of Europe's most congested capital cities sees cyclists of all ages and backgrounds take to the streets for one day a year. Stretching from Parliament Square to the winding streets of the City's Square Mile, the RideLondon FreeCycle means cars are kept away from many of Central London's streets over about eight hours on a Saturday in the summer.

Thousands of riders, from small children on balance bikes to smartly dressed penny-farthing riders pedal along side-by-side taking in the views and breathing the slightly cleaner air.

Rather than just the bidirectional cycle lane across Blackfriars Bridge and along the Embankment, that has seen well over one million journeys by bike this year alone - despite protestations from the motor vehicle minority that such infrastructure is left unused, now those on human-powered modes of transport have the freedom of all the tarmac.

Clearly, there will always be a need for some motor vehicles on the streets of major cities; emergency vehicles being an obvious example.

But what if they were guests, yielding to vulnerable road users, leaving the streets open to people on foot and bicycles rather than single occupancy motor vehicles - as is the case in more developed, better governed and more forward-thinking urban centres?

Then London would truly start to be a liveable city.

With the current Mayor of London promising to 'make London a byword for cycling' during his election campaign, only to frustrate and disappoint in the two years since, change in London moves gradually if it moves at all.

Even so, this gallery of images from the recent RideLondon FreeCycle shows what could be possible with more political will and the confidence to make cities for people rather than cars.

The day after the FreeCycle, some of the same roads remained closed for the RideLondon sportives and professional men's race.

Amateur riders had the option of the full 100-mile route, or the newer 46 and 19-mile parcours.

Starting in the Olympic Park, crossing Central London to Richmond Park before a loop into the Surrey Hills, riders were met - for the most part - with cheers and smiles from locals lining parts of the route.

The event, co-sponsored by Evans Cycles whose mechanics were on hand to help many of those who experienced punctures on the rain-soaked route, looks to capture the same support as seen for the London Marathon - helped by being organised by the same company - but there will always be the hurdle of hardwired hatred of cyclists to get over in some quarters.

There were even sporadic reports of motor vehicle drivers entering the closed road route, unhappy with only having 364 days to dominate the road network.

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