In September 2017 big steps towards improving safety for cyclists in Lewisham were made. These came in the form of the installation of a 1.7km section of new designated routes for cyclists as part of the cycle superhighway stretching from London Bridge to Greenwich. This route goes via six of the worst junctions in the area for cyclist injuries.
In addition to this a new route called the Lewisham Spine was announced in December. This cycling highway will stretch from Deptford to Downham, passing through Lewisham itself and Catford. It is hoped that the new infrastructure will encourage more people in the area to cycle, benefiting their health and improving the air quality in the Borough too.
The project will be an interesting one because of the scale of the work. As well as the designated route protected from traffic, the plan is to improve piazza type environments where cyclists will want to stop. This will encourage cyclists to remain in the Borough and benefit local businesses rather than simply having them commute through areas.
Lewisham Borough Council is in support of the plans and will begin work to secure funding for the project. Organisations such as Transport for London (TfL) will be approached for the funds.
Between 2006 and 2014 the number of cyclists injured on roads in Lewisham rose each year. The figures reached a high of 153 at the end of that period. Fortunately the last few years have seen a reduction in the number of crashes but work like the new cycle highways is still needed to improve the situation further.
Increasingly the presence of important cycling transport infrastructure is having an effect on where people choose to live in the capital. The investments in Lewisham could attract more people to the area.
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