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Cycling network above London proposed

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Architecture firm Foster + Partners has proposed the SkyCycle network, which would give cyclists a chance to use routes above London's crowded streets.

The proposed network follows existing suburban rail services and provides over 220 kilometres of car-free cycle routes which can be accessed at over 200 entrance points. Almost six million people live within the catchment area of the proposed network, half of whom live and work within 10 minutes of an entrance. Each route could potentially accommodate 12,000 cyclists every hour -- improving journey times by up to half an hour, according to the architects.

The team say that not only would the proposed platforms and decks be cheaper to construct than building new tunnels and roads to boost capacity -- especially considering London's expected population growth of 12 percent over the next decade -- but businesses could also benefit by setting up shop at station and bridge intersections.

Lord Foster commented:

"I believe that cities where you can walk or cycle, rather than drive, are more congenial places in which to live. To improve the quality of life for all in London and to encourage a new generation of cyclists, we have to make it safe. 
However, the greatest barrier to segregating cars and cyclists is the physical constraint of London's streets, where space is already at a premium."

The network is being presented to various transport authorities in London, and while the proposal is still only a dream, the architecture firm plans to refine and develop the project in conjunction with consultancy firm Space Syntax. Considering the scale of the network, if accepted, construction would likely take decades.

Via: Foster + Partners

Image credit: Foster + Partners

— By on January 6, 2014, 1:20 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure