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Unlike previously controversial tourism projects like the Olympics and third runway debate, tourists and locals can get behind a bike-only track with everyday practicality and tourism benefits.
London Mayor Boris Johnson plans to build a 15-mile bike route across the U.K. capital as part of a 913 million-pound ($1.37 billion) plan to boost cycling.
The east-west track, which will follow Dutch examples in segregating bicycles from other traffic, will be one of Europe’s longest, Johnson said in a statement from the Greater London Authority, adding that he also aims to change cycling’s image.
“I want to de-Lycrafy cycling,” said the mayor, who regularly rides to his office and meetings in a business suit. “I want to make it normal, something for everyone, something you feel comfortable doing in your ordinary clothes. Our new routes will give people the confidence to get in the saddle.”
Transport for London will spend 600 million pounds in four years on developing cycle paths running parallel to subway and bus routes. Bike use on London’s main roads is up 173 percent since 2001 and TfL aims to double it again over the next decade.
The GLA is also reviewing junctions including Blackfriars, Vauxhall and Elephant & Castle with the aim of making them safer. Other programs include off-site trials of eye-level traffic lights and specialized roundabouts.
Johnson also plans to trial a rental program for electric bikes, similar to the Barclay Cycle Hire plan added in 2010.
Editors: Chris Jasper and Benedikt Kammel.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at email@example.com.