Waltham Forest Council is working on a bid to become one of Boris Johnson’s ‘mini-Holland’ cycling havens.
The authority confirmed its officers are currently preparing the bid to become one of up to three cycle-friendly boroughs, benefitting from a share of £100 million made available by the Mayor of London for the scheme.
Andrew Gilligan, the mayor’s cycling commissioner, visited the borough earlier this week to talk about the process of bidding for the cash, after Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign members earlier urged the council to apply based on its recent schemes to improve cyclist safety.
The council unveiled a three-year plan last April to adopt a 20mph speed limit on all residential roads as well as allowing cyclists to travel both ways on one-way streets and tackling dangerous roads.
The funding offer is just one part of Mr Johnson’s plans for London over the next seven years.
A ‘Crossrail for cyclists’ reaching from the western suburbs to Canary Wharf and Barking will be at the heart of the mayor’s proposals to make London a city to rival Amsterdam in terms of cycling's popularity, and he also plans to establish a new series of bike routes throughout London to mirror the Tube and road networks.
They will be a mix of direct superhighways for experienced cyclists and quietways using pleasant, less busy side streets.
The ‘Crossrail’ bike project would be the longest urban cycle route in Europe, TfL claims, and would follow existing tracks along the A40 before crossing a new bike and pedestrian bridge at White City over the West Cross route and railway line.
It would then join a two-way cycle track along the Westway flyover before crossing Hyde Park and linking into a bike ‘superhighway’ from Tower Gateway to Canary Wharf and Barking.
The mayor and TfL claim the journey would often be as quick or quicker than taking the train or going by car.
TfL also wants to get more ethnic minorities, women and older people cycling by 2020, when they hope the two different kinds of routes will be well used.
The east to west cycle superhighway will be built by 2016, according to the Mayor.