Floating bikeway joins pot of ideas for London cycling

by Alice Davis | 15 Oct 2014

When it comes to how best to cater for cyclists in the UK’s capital, more ideas are being "floated" than ever before. The latest is the Thames Deckway, a 7-mile (11km) stretch of cycle path that would float alongside the banks of London’s famed river.

Thames Deckway is a concept proposed by River Cycleway Consortium, which is led by architect David Nixon and environmental entrepreneur Anna Hill, in conjunction with Arup and David Broughton Architects. Running from Battersea to Canary Wharf, the waterside cycle path would decrease journey times by up to 30 minutes, the consortium predicted.

One of the downsides of the seven miles of floating decking, which would potentially have to carry thousands of commuting cyclists, would be its prohibitive costs. At an estimated £600 million (€755m, US$955m), the consortium suggested off-setting the costs by charging cyclists £1.50 (€1.80, US$2.40) per journey. A single Tube journey, by comparison, is currently £4.70 (€5.90, US$7.50).

German Dector-Vega, London director for sustainable transport charity Sustrans, expressed concerns about the price tag. "It’s exciting to see innovation and new ideas focused so much on cycling, perhaps for the first time in our generation," he told Leisure Architecture. "However, despite being well intentioned, this Deckway scheme wouldn’t provide good value for money."

"The £600 million would be much better spent on high quality routes that help people make local and longer distance journeys, including better links across the river such as the Thames Cycle Bridge proposed for Canary Wharf to Rotherhithe," Dector-Vega said. "Cycle infrastructure needs to join up to give people real travel choices; without good access routes high profile flagship ideas such as these are not feasible."

Keeping cyclists safe on the roads has become an increasingly important matter as the number of commuters and leisure riders taking to two wheels has soared in recent years, reaching 582,000 cycle trips per day in 2012 according to Transport for London (TfL) figures. That figure signifies an 80.1 per cent increase in daily cycle trips since 2002.

However, cycling tends to be a contentious topic for some Londoners. The Thames Deckway has already received criticism from the Port of London Authority, who told The Wharf newspaper: "An idea like this needs to take account of the practical realities of this fast flowing and very busy tidal river … The placing of such a structure would reduce navigable space, increase congestion and present a serious risk of collision."

A spokesman for the consortium responded: "London needs to think outside the box of conventional solutions to solve its deep-seated traffic and pollution problems. The Thames offers vast, untapped potential to ease and improve London's infrastructure problems. What is needed is imagination to unleash it."

With few off-road options, the majority of cyclists – and motorists – believe a separate avenue for bicycle riders would be speedier and safer for all. London Mayor Boris Johnson is planning a cross-city route that’s segregated from traffic – a “super highway” or “Cross-rail” for bikes – that runs from north to south and another from east to west.

Foster and Partner’s plans for a progressive SkyCycle network, which would cover more than 130 miles, has also sparked discussion.

Johnson’s 21-mile cycle path plan – which has received public support from companies like RBS, Orange and Unilever, though criticism from other quarters that it will cause congestion – might not be as futuristic or glamorous as those that float on water or soar above the ground, but might prove finally to be easier, cheaper, more practical and more feasible to build.

Meanwhile, on the outskirts of London, three boroughs have been given money to persuade them to become “mini-Hollands” in a bid to revolutionise residents' cycling habits.

When it comes to how best to cater for cyclists in the UK’s capital, more ideas are being "floated" than ever before. The latest is the Thames Deckway, a 7-mile (11km) stretch of cycle path that would float alongside the banks of London’s famed river. Thames Deckway is a concept proposed by River Cycleway Consortium, which is led by architect David Nixon and environmental entrepreneur Anna Hill, in conjunction with
SAR,PAC,WAT,HAF,TOU,TVL,VAT,COL,ARC,DES,ECO,PUB,CLD
The proposed floating bikeway would take cyclists past famous London landmarks like City Hall and the Shard / Shutterstock
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6148     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6148     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: FaulknerBrowns Architects
The design service we offer extends from initial feasibility studies through all the design stages to completion of the building on site, leading the design team and co-ordinating and managing the client and contractor teams.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Warm colours and open fires create a cozy feel at Lanserhof Tegernsee
Christoph Ingenhoven has championed sustainable architecture for more than 30 years. He is Super Jury member at this year’s World Architecture Festival
"At Lanserhof, you spend your money and it’s difficult and exhausting, but you feel as though you’re doing something very good for yourself and maybe also for others "

How Ingenhoven’s experience as a guest informed the design of the Lanserhof medical spas

The Sun Room Pavilion in Fujian, China was by HKU students
"Architecture is finally sloughing off its obsession with eternity"

Celebrating ephemeral architecture

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The three cultural organisations are set around a flexible public space
Jakob Sand
"Maybe a project ends up looking like a BIG building, but there’s no blueprint. If you have a good idea, we will look at it, whether you’re an intern or a partner."

On BIG's French adventure

The towers’ punched window openings reference the area’s historic industrial buildings
Thomas Christoffersen
"We were rooted in the traditions of Danish design, but inspired by what was happening elsewhere."

On the journey from being Bjarke Ingels' first intern to BIG partner

features
Daniel Sundlin
"What defines BIG’s style of visual communication is that our diagrams clearly capture the essence of our projects, meaning that it’s very easy for people who don’t know our projects well to understand them."

The vision for Google's UK and US HQs

The BIG U high water barrier is 16km long, and incorporates community facilities
Kai-Uwe Bergmann
"BIG U is us starting the foundation work for a future resilient city."

The 'BIG culture ambassador' on the BIG U

The 85m-high sloped roof at the Amager Resource Center doubles as a ski slope
Brian Yang
"You can be an intern on your first day and be expected to contribute to the design conversation. That’s something driven strongly by Bjarke."

How the idea of putting a ski slope on a factory roof was born

cladkit product news
Ma Yansong debuts out of this world furniture collection
Ma Yansong was inspired by science fiction and the possibility of life on Mars
Lauren Heath-Jones
Curation-led design gallery Gallery ALL debuted the MAD Martian Collection at Design Miami. Designed by Ma Yansong, founder and principal ...
FAÇADE2017 winners
Ramboll was awarded for the Blavatnik Building, Switchouse Extension of the Tate Moder
Lauren Heath-Jones
A trio of British leisure facilities have been honoured in the Façade2017 awards. Established in 2013 by the Society of ...
Brdr. Krüger to exhibit at IMM Cologne
The Theodor chair was named after studio co-founder Theodor Krüger
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish furniture company Brdr. Krüger will showcase a range of new and existing pieces at international interiors show, IMM Cologne. ...
cladkit product news
AB Concept partners with House of Tai Ping for luxurious rug collection
The collection was inspired by the idea of looking down at the world from a great height
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design house AB Concept has partnered with bespoke rug specialist Tai Ping to create Nephele, an exclusive line of handcrafted ...
RIBA North announces winter lineup
RIBA North opens its new season with the Cerámica exhibition
Lauren Heath-Jones
The RIBA North architectural centre in Liverpool, UK, has announced its lineup of events and exhibitions for the winter season. ...
HawkinsBrown complete timber pool facility for 'swimming among the trees'
The space has been designed as 'a welcoming retreat that engages with the mature woodland setting through the use of natural materials and colour schemes'
Kim Megson
Architects HawkinsBrown have completed an elegant timber pool hidden among the trees for a school in the English county of ...
cladkit product news
Rockin' around the Christmas tree: Lasvit partners with the Upper House hotel and Yabu Pushelberg for bespoke Christmas project
The tree is designed to greet guests with a design and light experience as they enter the hotel
Lauren Heath-Jones
Lasvit has partnered with design firm Yabu Pushelberg to create a bespoke Christmas tree for The Upper House, a boutique ...
Matteo Thun Atelier create hospitality collection inspired by Mediterranean atmosphere
The collection is designed to integrate with numerous architecture and interior projects across the hospitality sector
Kim Megson
The studio of Italian architect and designer Matteo Thun have produced a new range of wooden furniture designed for everything ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates