Work starts on A11’s segregated cycle super highway to stop road deaths

Artist impression... how TfL pictures segregated A11 cycle highway along Bow Road [looking west towa

Artist impression... how TfL pictures segregated A11 cycle highway along Bow Road [looking west towards the City] - Credit: TfL

Work on fixing the Cycle “Super Highway 2” through east London has now begun in a bid to end the toll of riders killed.

Artist impression... how TfL pictures segregated A11 cycle highway along Bow Road [looking west towa

Artist impression... how TfL pictures segregated A11 cycle highway along Bow Road [looking west towards the City] - Credit: TfL

Six cycles have died in the past three years on the A11 alone, in collisions with goods lorries between Aldgate and the notorious Bow Roundabout.

The present cycle lanes currently painted blue along the shared carriageway have long been criticised for ambiguous right-of-way and giving cyclists a false sense of security.

Now they are being replaced with a fully and semi-segregated route between Aldgate and Bow, with 11 cycle-priority crossroads being installed, including Whitechapel High Street junction with Commercial Street and the Mile End Road junction with Burdett Road.

“Our plans move from pencils and rulers to hard hats and shovels,” Transport for London’s Leon Daniels explained. “The contractors will be working night and day to finish the work quickly and with minimum impact.”


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TfL has begun ripping out existing traffic islands to make space during the work at junctions along Whitechapel Road and Mile End Road.

Most of the route is being separated with a kerb to keep cyclists away from other traffic, while flexible poles are being installed at regular intervals to mark the track where there is less space.

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London’s cycling mayor Boris Johnson said: “This will make the route safer by giving cyclists more space away from other traffic. We’re pulling out all the stops to create a world-class cycle infrastructure.”

The round-the-clock roadworks where possible are phased to avoid rush-hour traffic gridlock. TfL promises to “minimise noise at night”—but it means some road closures as well as restricting parking, loading and stopping. The transport authority has written to households and businesses explaining what’s going on.

Members of Tower Hamlets Wheelers went on a “love bomb” campaign along the A11 last summer to win over Whitechapel market stallholders who objected to the scheme which would affect their deliveries.

The work is expected to be finished by spring next year and will be the start of a “Crossrail for bikes” network across London, east-to-west and north-to-south.

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