London’s cycle network visualised as the Tube map

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London Cycle Lane Map (credit: Route Plain Roll, London Cycling Network)

The London Cycle Lane Map combines classic design approach in the style of the iconic London Underground map with central area that reflects capital’s actual geography.

The London Cycle Lane Map was originally launched in June last year on the London Cycle Network blog, and has received widespread attention since yesterday when it was featured on Mail Online Travel. There is a zoomable PDF version of it here.

The London Underground map from which it takes its inspiration is purely diagrammatical in nature, meaning it does not accurately reflect the city’s geography – something evident when comparing the familiar version of it with this one from Transport for London (TfL) showing the lines as the actually relate to the capital’s geography.

As this article on the Mapping London website points out, the London Cycle Lane map adopts a hybrid approach.AdTech Ad

Centred on the intersection of the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways at Blackfriars, the shaded area in the middle of the map, roughly bounded by Exmouth Market, the Tower of London, Elephant & Castle and Piccadilly Circus at the cardinal points, accurately depicts the capital’s geography.

Outside that circle, however, it switches to a diagrammatical approach, meaning that some locations look much closer together, or further apart, than they are in reality.

And while, as the name implies, the focus is on cycling infrastructure and routes specifically for cyclists, it’s noticeable that missing from the map are ones following the Thames Path, as well as along the towpath of the Regent’s Canal, hugely popular among commuter and leisure cyclists alike.

Other maps charting the capital’s cycle network are available, of course – this one, from the London Cycling Campaign and powered by CycleStreets, allows users to find a route by entering the locations of the start and finish of their journey.

TfL publishes a set of 14 maps showing cycle routes in various parts of the city. Distributed via outlets such as bike shops and cycling cafes, they are currently unavailable on the TfL website.AdTech Ad

 

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Transforming disused Tube tunnels into underground cycle routes

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The answer to making London safer and less congested for cyclists could lie underground, according to a leading design firm.

Gensler has come up with an award-winning plan to convert disused London Underground routes into subterranean cycleways and pedestrian routes.

The scheme, dubbed the London Underline project, has now been recognised at the London Planning Awards where it was named Best Conceptual Project.

Its designers say it would transform tunnels beneath the capital into vibrant subterranean streets, with shopping facilities, cafes and pedestrian paths running parallel with cycle routes.

The tunnels would be accessed via Tube stations and would be surfaced by kinetic paving at stations, which would use use footfall to generate energy, according to Gensler.

The designers say this would remove the need for the tunnels to be linked directly to ground level.

Ian Mulcahey, co-director of designers Gensler London, said:

“Now that London has reached the highest level of population in its history we need to think creatively about how to maximize the potential of our infrastructure.

“The adaptation of surplus and underutilized tube and rail tunnels could provide a quick and simple addition to our infrastructure network.”

Key routes covered by the tunnels would include the disused Piccadilly Line branch from Holborn to the abandoned Aldwych station.

It would also link Green Park and Charing Cross along what was previously a Jubilee Line tunnel.

If the scheme were successful it could also make use of empty stretches of tunnel at Stockwell in south London and Goodge Street in central London.

The designers added:

“With current pressures on London to cope with future transport capacity for pedestrians, cyclists and tube users, London is in desperate need for new types of public and community space, as well as affordable retail, commerce and entertainment spaces. Subterranean spaces present an excellent option for new uses.”