Quietways are a network of cycleways opening across London that aim to get more people walking and cycling in the capital. They offer laid-back, quiet and pleasant routes, sometimes alongside rivers and through parks, and help people enjoy London at their own pace.
Quietways can connect us to the jobs, opportunities and services we need to reach, help boost the health of Londoners, improve air quality and take congestion off public transport and roads.
Transport for London and the Mayor of London are rolling out a network which includes Quietways, town centre improvements, and Cycle Superhighways on busier roads linking the suburbs to the centre. Together they create a much wider cycle network that will help more people to cycle, more safely, more often.
Quietway 1 linking Waterloo and Greenwich via the Millwall cycle path officially opened in June 2016 and saw a 56% uplift in people using the route. The Greenwich 'missing link' on Quietway 14 on the Thames Path was opened in June 2017. Quietway routes are listed on the Transport for London website.
Opening up London for cycling
A new way to cycle in our city through connected backstreets, parks and waterways.
Purple signs mark Quietway routes that you may have not even known existed. They use less-busy backstreets, opening up more of London for new cyclists whilst providing for existing cyclists who want to travel at a gentler pace.
Here's what some people who use Quietway 1 had to say:
More than just cycle routes
The routes also provide the opportunity to make streets healthier and create safer and more pleasant neighbourhoods for everyone, by reducing the speed and dominance of motor traffic, improving local air quality and investing in a better, more accessible, urban realm.
And we know they work; Q1 had a 56% increase in cycling within a year of opening.
Quietways rely on the close partnership-working between London’s 33 borough councils, Transport for London (TfL) and other stakeholders. The scale of change delivered in Quietways depends on local political support and the funding available.
How have we been involved in Quietways?
We are proud to have project managed the Quietways programme in our role as Transport for London’s delivery agent for the first four years of the Quietways program. As the main contractor we've supported improvements to the streets, paths and parks that make up each route, in partnership with TfL, London Boroughs and landowners.
We were appointed in late 2014, following a European (OJEU) procurement process. In addition to our project management capabilities, London Boroughs have engaged the services of our expert team of highway engineers, urban designers, landscape architects and community co-design facilitators for schemes, if they needed resource or expertise.
It is part of our long heritage in transforming places: We’ve been delivering cycling and walking routes across the UK for 40 years. From the Bristol to Bath railway path to the National Cycle Network, Sustrans has always delivered new connections for people on foot or on bikes – our work on London's is a continuation of our long tradition of making streets better for people.
Where do Quietways go?
The 10-year vision is for Quietways to reach all London Boroughs. Transport for London's website shows the latest on the development of Quietways.
Working with our partners we provide innovative, effective and tailor-made solutions to make cycling more accessible and safer.
We worked with four organisations on the Quietways programme:
- 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
- road safety experts Local Transport Projects
“ We are delighted that Quietway 1 is now open. It provides a direct, quick and safe link from Greenwich into Waterloo, and points between, and is another important step in improving the quality of life and economic resilience in our world leading city. ”
Design standards for Quietways
The Quietways have been 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 should be segregation. At other times alternative methods, including filtered permeability, can 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 network of cycleways will eventually reach across London, enabling people to ride 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.