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Riding high: Gherkin architect pitches elevated cycle paths

Posted at 3:30 pm, January 3, 2014 in News, Outdoor London, Transport

Just picked up a sweet new bike but can’t be doing with all those pesky buses and cars? Good news – you could soon be whizzing along high above the rest of the city’s transport network, pulling wheelies and shouting ‘so long, suckers!’ as you go.

That’s if Lord Norman Foster gets his way. The man behind the Gherkin (and several other iconic London structures) has just unveiled his vision for a network of elevated bike paths, stretching from the edges of zone one right out into the suburbs.

Dubbed ‘SkyCycle’, the paths would sit three storeys above street level, running on top of existing railway lines. Foster’s plan includes ten routes which, with a total length of 221km, could accommodate 12,000 cyclists an hour and cut journey times by up to 29 minutes.


Critics have been quick to scoff, with criticism centred around the uphill slog joining the paths would necessitate, and the perils of cycling at altitude, where commuters could be battered by high winds.

There’s also the small matter of the £220 million it’s estimated it’d cost to make the project a reality (and that’s just for four miles’ worth), money that many will argue could be put to much better use making the city’s roads more cycle friendly.

What do you reckon? Is this a feasible solution to London’s bike integration challenges, or the deluded daydream of a man with too much time on his hands?

Check out some more high-flying bikes here

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