Our role in London Quietways

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

Quietways are a new network of cycle routes opening across London that aim to get more people cycling in the capital. They offer laid-back, quiet and pleasant routes, sometimes alongside rivers and through parks, that 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.

The development of Quietways alongside ‘Mini-Holland’ town center improvements, Cycle Superhighways on busier roads linking the suburbs to the centre, and a grid of routes in central London, 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, with a further six routes in development.

Opening up London for cycling

I enjoyed cycling on the Quietway very much, and little did I know how close I was to these routes, not to mention the new Q6 in Wanstead. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for the purple Quietways signs and will definitely ride them again.

-
Dini Patel, London

A new way to cycle in our city through connected backstreets, parks and waterways to create secret passageways through London.

Purple signs mark Quietway routes that you may have not even known existed. Quietways 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.

More than just cycle routes

Quietways 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.

What is our role in Quietways?

We are proud to be project managing the Quietways programme in our role as Transport for London’s delivery agent for Quietways.

We’re the main contractor, supporting improvements to the streets, paths and parks that make up each Quietway, 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 are able to engage the services of our expert team of highway engineers, urban designers, landscape architects and community co-design facilitators for Quietway schemes, if they need resource or expertise.

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 – the Quietways is a continuation of our long tradition of building for bikes.

Where do Quietways go?

The 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:

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.

- Matt Winfield, Deputy 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 alternative 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. 

Users of Quietways share their views

Blog: How I conquered my fear of cycling on Q1

Read news stories about our work in London