London's cycling 'superhighways'

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced the first two of 12 cycling "superhighways" planned to make it easier and safer for people to commute by bike in the capital.

Launching on July 19 as part of London's year of cycling programme, the routes will run between Merton in south London to the City and Barking in east London to Tower Gateway. They are direct and continuous and will be the first of a dozen such routes.

Cycle journeys had increased by 117% on the capital's major roads in the last decade, Mr Johnson said as he launched a summer of cycling events. He urged the public to take up this year's London Cycle Challenge, beginning on June 1.

Mr Johnson announced a 10-point plan for cycling in London which will be supported by the £116 million Transport for London is spending on cycling this year. The plan includes reducing cycling casualties, increasing cycle parking on streets, in workplaces and at stations and schools.

Mr Johnson said: "I am determined to transform London into a city that cycles and where hundreds of thousands enjoy the elixir of using two wheels to get around the capital.

But Chris Peck, policy co-ordinator for the UK's national cyclist organisation CTC, said: "An increase in cycling may lead to safety improving for cyclists, with motorists getting more used to dealing with those on two wheels. But we don't think enough traffic-calming is being done.

"There's really nothing they are doing here that will add to the value of what we've already got."

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