Today when I sat down to read through the various cycling blogs and forums I frequently enjoy, it seemed that the main thing people were posting and getting excited about was ‘SkyCycle‘.
SkyCycle is described as ‘a new approach to transform cycling in the capital. Following existing suburban railway corridors, a wide, secure deck would be constructed above the trains to create new cycle routes throughout London‘.
It has been proposed that SkyCycle would be able to host up to 12,000 riders per hour, joining the network at one of 200+ entrance ramps to then travel across the estimated 220 kilometres of London it would cover.
According to the press release on the Foster and Partners website, there would also be the possibility of providing development opportunities for businesses at various points along the network.
One part of me thinks this would be a glorious sanctuary in the clouds, where cyclists can ride, carefree, without fear of:
– colliding with pedestrians glued to their mobile phones,
– being abused and/or hurt by motorists,
– being launched over the handlebars of their brand new road bike because their front wheel has become lodged against the side of a golden retriever puppy who’s owner thought would be fine darting around a cycle path without a lead on (Yes, it happened to me and yes, it hurt).
Unfortunately, the cynical part of my brain is screaming, ‘WHY DO WE NEED TO RIDE UP IN THE AIR ON RIDICULOUS BRIDGES WHEN WE’VE GOT PERFECTLY GOOD ROADS TO RIDE ON?!’.
Let’s face it, cyclists aren’t actively riding into cars or throwing themselves under trucks in some heroic act of bicycle-martyrdom, so why should we be popped out of the way?
Don’t get me wrong, I can see how a lot of people would take up cycling the route they would normally get the tube, and if you are just a commuter who uses the bike to get from home to work and back, this would be perfect you.
However, there are a large number of people who commute by bicycle and do it because they love the adventure of changing up your route every day, and having the freedom to go whichever way you want and make your journey as long or short as you want.
SkyCycle is currently a pipe dream and would take years and years before it would become a reality if it was ever given the all clear. Even if this does not become a reality, we can be sure that it marks the start of the search for an answer to the terrible bicycle infrastructure London, and many parts of the UK currently have.
It’s a sad shame that it took a string of cyclists being killed on the roads across the capital for notice to be taken, but hopefully we will one day be able to ride, free of fear, whether that is thanks to this crazy cycling network in the sky, or some other project!
I am interested to know what the opinion of others is on this, so feel free to comment your opinions here, or tweet me @danielsride and let me know!