London Quietways

Woman cycling through London's quiet back roads

Quietways offer a more pleasant alternative to riding on busy roads

Commuters cycle past new development on a new bike path on Goldsmiths Row, Hackney

Quietways aim to open new low traffic or traffic-free routes through London

Bike commuters cycle along a new path providing a direct crossing of City Road and Goswell Road in London

Quietways will provide safe and easy crossings for London's main roads

Woman cycles on new section of a filtered permeability on a quietway in Southwark

Quietways will open new short-cuts onto quiet side streets

Quietways are a way of providing safe and direct cycling infrastructure as part of the Mayor of London's Vision for Cycling. Along with ‘Mini-Holland’ boroughs in Outer London, Cycle Superhighways linking the suburbs to the centre, and a grid of routes in central London, Quietways are part of making London an easier, better place to travel around and a more pleasant place to live and work.

Well sign-posted quiet routes on back streets, through parks and along waterways

Quietways will be a network of well-signed cycle routes that use quieter streets and run through parks and along waterways across inner and outer London. They’ll connect with other cycling infrastructure in the capital, expanding the reach of cycling investment – linking residential areas to local services such as schools, town centres and green spaces. They overcome barriers to cycling by providing an alternative to riding on busy roads. Where they have to cross or use busy roads for short sections, they will be segregated from motor traffic.

More than just cycle routes

They also provide the opportunity to make streets and neighbourhoods safer and more pleasant for everyone, by reducing the speed and dominance of motor traffic, improving local air quality and investing in a better, more accessible, urban realm. The new public space at South Bermondsey station and the improvements to Orford Road as part of Walthamstow’s Mini Holland delivery are great examples.

Overseen by the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, they depend on close partnership-working between London’s 33 borough councils, Transport for London (TfL) and other stakeholders. The first Quietways are opening in 2016.

What is our role in Quietways?

Transport for London appointed Sustrans as the Delivery Agent for Quietways in late 2014, following a European (OJEU) procurement process. 

Our role is to provide whatever support is required to boroughs and other managing authorities to help deliver a London-wide network of routes to TfL’s specification. At the borough’s discretion this might include:

  • managing and coordinating the programme working with the London boroughs, the Canal and River TrustThe Royal Parks and others to deliver routes
  • providing a detailed design service to develop future routes
  • providing experienced stakeholder engagement resources to work with communities and understand their views.

The scale of change delivered will depend on local political support and the funding available.

Through our role as delivery agent we also have a dedicated team developing plans for a number of Cycle Superhighways on London’s main roads with TfL and boroughs.

Where do Quietways go?

The Mayor’s 10 year vision is for Quietways to reach all London Boroughs. The first seven routes span London and include:

Route From - to Boroughs and Managing Authorities  
Q1 Waterloo to Greenwich Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich  
Q2 St Pancras to Walthamstow Camden, Islington, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Lee Valley Regional Park  
Q3 Regents Park to Gladstone Park (Dollis Hill) Westminster, Brent, Camden  
Q4 Clapham Common to Wimbledon Lambeth, Wandsworth, Merton  
Q5 Waterloo to Croydon (via Clapham Common) Lambeth, Wandsworth, Croydon  
Q6 Aldgate to Hainault (First phase Victoria Park to Barkingside) Tower Hamlets, Newham, Redbridge, Hackney and London Legacy Development Corporation.  
Q7 Elephant and Castle to Crystal Place Southwark, Lambeth  

Our Quietways partners

Working with our partners we provide innovative, effective and tailor-made solutions to make cycling more accessible and safer. We work with four organisations: innovators in Dutch cycle design, Royal HaskoningDHV; specialists in urban design and cycle design best practice in the UK, Phil Jones Associates; leaders in inclusive cycling, Wheels for Wellbeing; and road safety experts, Local Transport Projects.

We have extensive experience of delivering these kinds of routes, having delivered 82 major schemes (£170m) in five years across the UK, working with hundreds of delivery partners.

- Matt Winfield, Acting Director, Sustrans London

Design standards for Quietways

The Quietways are designed to TfL's London Cycling Design Standards. As sponsor, TfL review all designs from ourselves or boroughs against these standards. Interventions are focused on improving key locations that are barriers to cycling, such as intimidating junctions and other smaller measures that help the routes to flow.

Where traffic speeds and volumes require it there will be segregation. At other times other methods, including filtered permeability, will be used to reduce the speed and volume of traffic in residential areas. Implementing these measures requires strong political support and clear communication with local communities.

Better for business, public transport and all road users

The Quietways network will eventually reach across London, enabling people to cycle to work, the shops or to meet their friends safely and comfortably. More people travelling by bike will relieve pressure on transport arteries and is good news for businesses, public transport users and everyone else that shares our busy city.