Transport for London (TfL) has opened the first section of its North-South segregated cycle route – six months after construction first commenced.
The two-way 800m section runs from Elephant & Castle to the Peabody Estate on Blackfriars Road. It will intersect with the new Quietway 1 from Waterloo to Greenwich at Webber Street, as well as the existing Cycle Superhighway 7 at Princess Street.
Once completed, the full length of the North-South cycle route will run from Kings Cross to Elephant & Castle.
TfL said congestion levels along St George’s Road have greatly eased since work finished. At certain times, especially outside the peak hours, TfL added that traffic is reducing back to similar levels seen before the work began, but with the added benefits of better cycle facilities and pedestrian crossings.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “We appreciate there’s disruption going on as this network of routes takes shape alongside other major development work in London, but TfL is pulling out all the stops to minimise delays.”
In the new year, cyclists will be able to travel from Elephant and Castle to Blackfriars Bridge along the new North-South route, with Blackfriars Road transformed from a car-dominated street into a new urban boulevard with almost 20,000 square feet of new space for pedestrians and a two-way segregated cycle track.
The link across Blackfriars Bridge will open to cyclists by spring 2016, connecting it with the East-West Cycle Superhighway and Farringdon. The North-South route will be co-branded Cycle Superhighway 6.
Leon Daniels, MD of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “It’s incredible that in just six months we have managed to transform these roads into a truly continental cycling landscape.”
Since March, work has also been progressing with the East-West route from Tower Hill to Westbourne Terrace. Two other segregated superhighways are also under construction: the upgrade of Cycle Superhighway 2 from Aldgate to Bow and the new Cycle Superhighway 5 from Oval to Pimlico, which will open next month. All these routes will be built by summer 2016.