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Friday01 August 2014

Elevated bike path proposal to tackle Regent's canal congestion

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Route would take cyclists away from pedestrians

A landscape architect has come up with a plan for an elevated bike path to sort out a battle between cyclists and pedestrians for space on a commuter route alongside Regent’s canal in north London.

Antony Nelson, who is the landscape director at Design International, is hoping to present his idea to Transport for London and the office of London mayor Boris Johnson later this year.

He has drawn up the plan for a two mile stretch of the canal between Victoria Park and Angel after being forced to abandon the route last year because of increasing congestion.

“It wasn’t pleasant in any way,” he said. “A lot of my fellow cyclists were aggressive and inconsiderate. Everyone was fighting for space.”

Antony Nelson's elevated commuter route alongside Regent’s canal in north London.

Antony Nelson’s elevated commuter route alongside Regent’s canal in north London.

His proposal will see the bike path reach up to 4m in places to allow canal boats to pass underneath. It will weave across the canal and be connected to overbridges which cyclists can cross using priority crossings. “It can’t go under bridges because there isn’t enough room,” he said.

Nelson also said he is planning to put the idea, which will include cultural hubs along the route, to regular users this summer before presenting the idea to politicians in the autumn. “We want to gauge people’s opinions before taking it further.”

The structure would be made of lightweight steel and Nelson said the idea could be extended to other crowded towpaths.

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Readers' comments (10)

  • I've always thought they needed to either widen the pathway or add some kind of additional path. Great idea

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  • james francis

    For a low carbon form of transport this looks to be a big carbon investment?

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  • It's definately a problem needing a design solution. At the moment it's all passive-aggressive hand-holding, dings and tuts.

    I even saw a runner who'd got pushed into the canal by a cyclist. An off-duty police officer had seen it and pounced on the cyclist, pining him to the ground with the runner standing next to him, incandescent with rage and dripping everywhere. It was really funny.

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  • what a horrible, stupid way to destroy our historic waterways. Just slow down, use your bell, and give precedence to pedestrians. Canal towpaths are not cycleways for boy racers rushing to/from their REALLY BORING jobs.

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  • The main picture looks like an accident waiting to happen! Surely they can't be serious!

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  • There is a problem but this is not the solution.

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  • If the cycle network through London used such strategies as in Copenhagen then commuter cyclists would not need to use the towpath as a safe route to work.
    The above proposal is reactive solution caused by poor cycle conditions on the roads above. A more proactive approach would be to address the cycle network on street level and maintain the towpath as a predominantly pedestrian experience sharing with occasional pootling cyclists taking their time and enjoying the route.
    Check out the Copenhagen bicycling strategy: Good, Better, Best.

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  • Well put, Dan. That's exactly right.

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  • I assumed this was a late April 1st article.

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  • It seems very interesting proposal. I would like to see it happen soon!!!!!

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