A £913 million plan to revolutionise cycling in London was announced today by the capital's mayor Boris Johnson.
Saying he wanted to "de-Lycrafy cycling", Mr Johnson outlined plans for a 15-mile cycle route from the western suburbs to Canary Wharf In Docklands and Barking in east London.
The route will include Dutch-style fully segregated cycle tracks along, among other places, the Victoria embankment and the Westway flyover.
Under the plan, a range of new cycle routes will open over the next four years parallel to and named after Tube lines and bus routes.
The plans will include:
:: A new network of "Quietways" - direct, continuous, fully signposted routes on peaceful side streets, running far into the suburbs, and aimed at people put off by cycling in traffic;
:: Better segregation between bikes and other vehicles;
:: Improvements to existing "superhighway" bus routes;
:: Improvements to junctions deemed the least safe fo cyclists, including Blackfriars, Vauxhall and Elephant & Castle;
:: Encouraging more out-of-hours deliveries by lorries to improve cyclist safety;
:: 20mph speed limits for all traffic on some cycle routes;
:: An electric bike hire scheme, similar to the existing Barclays Cycle Hire, will be trialled;
Mr Johnson - a keen cyclist himself n- said: "I want to de-Lycrafy cycling. I want to make it normal, something for everyone, something you feel comfortable doing in your ordinary clothes. Our new routes will give people the confidence to get in the saddle.
"I do not promise perfection, or that London will become Amsterdam any time soon. But what I do say is that this plan marks a profound shift in my ambitions and intentions for the bicycle."
He went on: "The reason I am spending almost £1 billion on this is my belief that helping cycling will not just help cyclists. It will create better places for everyone. It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich.
"It means more seats on the Tube, less competition for a parking place and fewer cars in front of yours at the lights. Above all, it will fulfil my aim of making London's air cleaner."