London opens first ‘Quietway’ route for cyclists and pedestrians


As part of its continuing efforts to reduce the number of citizens using cars, London has opened its first ‘Quietway’, a route for cyclists and pedestrians that uses traffic-free paths and quieter backstreets.

The first route of its type in the UK capital, Quietway 1 (Q1) is a continuous 5.6 mile-long (9km) sign-posted route linking Greenwich and Waterloo by quieter backstreet roads, passing through four London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Delivered by Transport for London (TfL), the local boroughs and cycling and walking charity Sustrans, Q1 is the first of seven Quietway routes, which will all be completed by spring next year. Each Quietway will provide a continuous route for pedestrians and bicycles, and the network will complement other TfL initiatives, such as the Central London Cycling Grid, Cycle Superhighways and ‘Mini-Hollands’.

Clearly marked with purple branded signage, Q1 connects with other cycling routes in the area, including the North-South Cycle Superhighway (CS6) at Webber Street and Cycle Superhighway 7 (CS7) at Great Suffolk Street. To develop the new, continuous Quietway routes, new wayfinding, pavement surface and junction improvements have been introduced, and barriers, such as chicanes, have been removed. Pedestrians will also benefit from new or improved crossing facilities and wider footways alongside the improvements for cyclists, which will make the routes safer and more attractive for both modes of transport.

“It is important that we make it safer and easier for Londoners to cycle across our city, and we want the first of the Quietways to make a significant contribution toward that aim,” said the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. “I am already looking at what works best from the existing cycle schemes to ensure we deliver the best and safest road cycling network possible. Cycling leads to a healthier lifestyle, it helps to cut pollution, and is a key part of my vision of the type of greener, more modern and affordable transport network we need in our city.”

Ben Plowden, TfL’s director of surface strategy and planning, noted, “We’re really pleased to see the first Quietway, from Greenwich to Waterloo, open and ready for cyclists and pedestrians to use. The Quietway program along quieter backstreets will help open up a whole new area of London for people walking and cycling, and support non-polluting and healthy travel for commuting or leisure.”

The new route has been particularly welcomed by Sustrans, the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity, enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of their daily journeys. The organization’s deputy director, Matt Winfield, commented, “Quietway 1 provides a direct, quick and safe link from Greenwich into Waterloo, and points between. It is another important step in improving the quality of life and economic resilience in our world-leading city. We are particularly pleased with the scheme designed and delivered at [English Football League One soccer team] Millwall FC, providing a more direct and car-free route for both cyclists and walkers, and a crucial link in this highly useful route.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).