Next phase of Waltham Forest Cycleway will make it easier than ever to travel around the area by bike
Work has begun on a 2km extension to a Cycleway which will enable people to cycle between Waltham Forest and Redbridge, and to central London and beyond. The next phase is the latest addition to Waltham Forest's new cycling infrastructure, which was created as part of the transformational Enjoy Waltham Forest programme.
Cycleway 23 currently runs along Lea Bridge Road between Millfields Park and Whipps Cross in Waltham Forest. The extension of the route to the east will create a new two-way cycle track between Whipps Cross and Water Works Roundabout in Redbridge, connecting to the Enjoy Waltham Forest network at Whipps Cross.
So far, the existing fully-segregated Cycleway 23 has seen significant increases in the number of people cycling, with a 118 per cent increase between July 2016 and July 2019. The new protected route will enable even more people in the area to get around by bike safely and easily, whilst boosting their health and helping to tackle London's toxic air.
Transport for London (TfL) recently asked people in the area to have their say on another section of the Cycleway towards central London. Plans for the route between Millfields Park and Dalston include segregated cycle lanes around Lea Bridge Roundabout and a new walking and cycling link through the park. The route would connect to CS1 at Dalston, creating a new link between northeast and central London.
Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: "We know that one of the easiest ways to enable people to cycle is to make sure that they have access to a network of safe cycle routes right across the capital. The extension to this new protected route will enable even more people to cycle across Waltham Forest, making it even easier to switch car journeys for a healthier and more sustainable alternative."
Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment at Waltham Forest Council, said: "To tackle the climate emergency, the largest issue facing the planet right now, we must all work together to change the way we live. Finding new ways to travel sustainably around the borough and into central London is vital if we are going to make a difference.
"We are already making a real impact in Waltham Forest. Across the borough we have seen an increase in cycling of 103 per cent, and decrease in car use of seven per cent, since we started improving local infrastructure through our Enjoy Waltham Forest programme, and in turn we have seen a marked improvement in air quality. More than 50,000 households are no longer in areas with dangerously high levels of air pollution compared to a decade ago and an independent study found that local children's life expectancy has increased by six weeks.
"We're very pleased to be able to work with TfL to implement this extension to Cycleway 23 as we keep pushing to make Waltham Forest even safer and more accessible for cyclists."
TfL is committed to expanding the capital's cycle network at pace and increasing the proportion of Londoners who live within 400 metres of the cycling network to 28 per cent by 2024, up from nine per cent. TfL has doubled the amount of protected space for cyclists since 2016 and is on course to triple this by spring.
In 2018, TfL's Vision Zero, Walking and Cycling Action Plans set out ambitious targets for eliminating death and serious injury from London's roads and becoming the best city in the world for walking and the best big city for cycling. These plans will ensure safer streets, which will significantly increase the number of people walking and cycling as well as reduce road danger, congestion and air pollution.
The consultation report for the first phase of Cycleway 23 between Lea Bridge and Dalston will be published in January, with the second phase to follow in spring 2020