More than 60 miles of cycle lanes built across London in just a year

Sadiq Khan’s cycling tsar brags of plastering capital in SIXTY MILES of bike lanes while London was battling pandemic in last year – despite High Court ruling schemes are ILLEGAL

  • Pop-up lanes were brought in to encourage people to walk or cycle in pandemic
  • They have been launched along with widening of pavements and road closures.
  • But measures have attracted criticism from motorists for causing gridlock in UK 
  • Court ruled in January that Mayor’s guidance to promote scheme was unlawful

Sadiq Khan’s cycling tsar has revealed 62 miles of cycle lanes have been built across London in the past year, despite a court ruling the schemes were unlawful.

The pop-up lanes have been brought in to encourage people to walk or cycle during the pandemic, along with the widening of pavements and road closures.

The measures were rolled out under ‘low-traffic neighbourhood’ schemes but were criticised for causing gridlock with one in Kensington removed after an outcry.

The new data was revealed by Will Norman, the Mayor’s walking and cycling commissioner, who added that 100km (62 miles) of new cycle lanes and ‘hundreds of kilometres of quieter streets’ had been constructed in the past year.

He said there had been an increase of 200 cent in cycling over the weekend of February 20 and 21. Transport for London later confirmed the exact figure was 218 per cent and this was based on cycle flows at selected sites, compared to last year. 

Sadiq Khan has overseen the rapid construction of a cycling network using temporary bollards 

The new data was revealed by Will Norman, the Mayor’s walking and cycling commissioner

Critics say the measures have also blocked emergency response vehicles and caused problems for local businesses in towns and cities across the UK.

In January, the High Court ruled that guidance issued by the Mayor to promote the expansion of schemes was ‘irrational’ and unlawful because it failed to safeguard road access for taxis and disabled people. 

The judge said authorities ‘took advantage of the pandemic’ to turn parts of London into car-free zones.

Mr Norman tweeted last Friday: ‘Boom. New data: In less than 12 months, Mayor of London, Transport for London and London Councils have built 100km of new cycle lanes and hundreds of kilometres of quieter streets.


‘The result? Last weekend we saw a 200 per cent plus increase in cycling, 300 per cent plus in some places. Amazing! Build it and they will come.’

Last month Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended the roll-out of controversial road schemes designed to reduce car use yesterday.

Critics have claimed the measures were often brought in with little consultation, but Mr Shapps has insisted they are mostly popular.

An investigation in January found town halls squandered nearly £1million after being forced to scrap expensive and controversial road schemes brought in during the pandemic.

A cycle lane on Kensington High Street in West London, pictured last December, was removed

At least 138 schemes have been completed, with 13 having to be scrapped and 25 altered after a backlash from residents and the emergency services.

Dozens more schemes are now in development after the award of £175million from the government in November.

It followed £250million in May for temporary changes to roads during the pandemic.

At the Commons transport committee on February 2, Mr Shapps cited polling done by his department which showed a majority agreed with the aims of the projects.

Cars queue next to a cycle lane on Euston Road in Central London, pictured last September 

This included 88 per cent agreeing they wanted increased road safety, 86 per cent wanting improved air quality and 83 per cent reduced traffic congestion.

A TfL spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘We were very disappointed with the court’s decision and have applied for permission to appeal this judgment. 

‘Helping the capital to get through, and recover from, the coronavirus pandemic has always been at the heart of our plans for walking and cycling. 

‘Temporary schemes continue to enable safer essential journeys for thousands of Londoners who need to travel during this exceptionally challenging time.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, pictured in Ealing on February 8, has faced criticism over the cycle lanes

‘We recognise how important it is for our schemes to work for the communities they serve, including people who use taxis, and we will continue to deliver schemes to reflect the changing coronavirus situation.’ 

Following the ruling in January, TfL insisted it would keep the makeshift cycle lanes while appealing the judgment. 

Justice Lang ruled London’s ‘Streetspace’ scheme was ‘seriously flawed’ and ‘took advantage of the pandemic’ to push through ‘radical’ and permanent road changes.

The judgment followed a legal challenge by organisations representing black cab drivers who were angry about being banned from a new bus-only route on the A10.

This graphic from Transport for London shows all the cycle lanes in place across the capital

Justice Lang said the A10 scheme treated in Bishopsgate cab drivers unfairly and should be abolished.

But her judgment also called for an end to the Mayor’s wider Streetspace initiative, including the introduction of several hundred miles of temporary cycle lanes.

However there were no findings were made about the lawfulness of other borough schemes which are allowed to remain in place as boroughs consider appropriate.

In addition, until the appeal process is concluded, both the Bishopsgate scheme and TfL’s interim guidance to boroughs can remain in place.

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