London to get cycle lanes in the sky?

Norman Foster proposes a novel solution to the capital’s bike problem – and it just might happen


London has never been a cyclist-friendly city, but a new proposal from Sir Norman Foster aims to change that – and in the most dramatic way possible.

Foster + Partners have dreamt up SkyCycle, a 136-mile network of elevated, 15 metre-wide bike lanes that would allow cyclists to travel around the capital without having to contend with cars and pedestrians.

The system would be routed to follow existing train tracks and major roads (thus cutting down on the need to demolish buildings and other infrastructure) and six million people would live within a 10-minute ride of one of its 200 entrances. Each route, say Foster + Partners, could accommodate up to 12,000 cyclists an hour.

Encouraging signs

Sir Norman Foster describes the proposal as “a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city” – but will have to convince both the government and likely private investors that the project is viable. At the moment, it seems like something of a pipe dream (albeit one more likely to become a reality than other sci-fi proposals like Elon Musk’s Hyperloop). But there are encouraging signs: Network Rail has already welcomed the idea. Here’s hoping the mayor and London’s other power brokers take notice.

[Via Foster + Partners]