Sustrans to deliver Quietways in London

Woman cycling on a quiet London street
10 December 2014

Sustrans has been awarded the contract to help deliver London’s first Quietways, giving cyclists a direct, pleasant, back-street alternative to busy main roads, opening in May next year, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced today.

Construction is about to start on the first two routes, which will run from central London to Greenwich and Hackney, with a later extension to Walthamstow.

  • Quietways will provide direct backstreet cycle routes in all 33 London boroughs
  • TfL awards Sustrans multi-million pound delivery contract to support rollout of network across London

If you would love to hop on a bike but feel intimidated by busier roads, these Quietway routes will be perfect, connecting parks, backstreets and waterways to create secret passages through London.

- Boris Johnson,
Mayor of London
Five more routes are at the design stage and around two dozen more will be delivered or in progress by 2016.

Sustrans, has been awarded a three year contract by Transport for London (TfL) to help deliver the £120 million network, in partnership with the local boroughs and other partners whose roads they will use. Every London borough will be served by the Quietways.

The charity will be working with four partners to deliver the contract - 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. Each are leaders in their fields, and will drive up quality and innovation in designs and methods to deliver the project efficiently, cost-effectively and with the community at its heart.

Sustrans London Director, German Dector-Vega, said:

“Sustrans is delighted to be named as the winner of the Quietways contract and will start work immediately to deliver the best possible cycle routes for Londoners. We’re pleased to be working with our partners to help London find solutions for population growth, remain economically vibrant and become an increasingly pleasant and healthy place to live.”

Unlike the old London Cycle Network, Quietways will be direct and clearly signed, mostly on the road itself, making it difficult for cyclists to lose their way.

Because they are on lower-traffic roads, they will be largely unsegregated. The main interventions on the vast majority of the network will be way-marking, surfacing improvements where necessary, removing barriers such as chicanes and improving the flow of the route.

However, where directness demands the Quietway briefly join a main road, full segregation and direct crossing points will be provided, wherever possible, on that stretch. Quietways will be particularly suited to new cyclists.

Following a competitive tender process, Sustrans will help boroughs, the Canal and Rivers Trust, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Parkand The Royal Parks design and manage the construction of the Quietways, using each local borough's own highways contractor to deliver the scheme.

Work on the first route, which will run from Waterloo to Greenwich, is about to start, creating a predominantly backstreet cycling route through Borough, Bermondsey and Deptford. Junctions at major roads will be redesigned to help cyclists and a brand new cycle path created. This will follow the railway line from South Bermondsey station to Surrey Canal Road to the north of Millwall football club (subject to final planning permissions).

Work to deliver the second route, from Bloomsbury to Hackney, will begin early next year and see a direct route created through local parks.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said:

“Cycling is becoming more and more common place in our city, and we know many others would like to do so. The network of Quietways we will be introducing will open more options up for new and infrequent cyclists to take to the streets using less busy roads. This will further help shift more journeys away from cars, particularly in the outer boroughs.”

Analysis by TfL shows that more than half of the potentially cyclable trips in London, many of which are made by car, are in Outer London.

As well as the first seven routes, a second phase of the Quietways programme will look to extend the network across London. Delivery timescales on this phase will depend on the boroughs concerned but it is hoped that a significant number will be delivered, or be in process of delivery, by 2016.

Read more News stories about Sustrans' work in London.

Read blog posts by Sustrans' Director for London.