News: a proposal for a new east-west cycleway that would float on the River Thames has been unveiled by a consortium of architects, artists and engineers formed to promote the development of better cycling links in London.
The Thames Deckway aims to provide a solution to the British capital's "deep-seated traffic and pollution problems".
Proposed for a 12 kilometre stretch from Battersea in the west to Canary Wharf in the east, the cycleway would run close to the south bank of the river – away from the main water navigation channel.
The project by River Cycleway Consortium Ltd would provide a car-free route and potentially slash the journey time from end to end to half an hour by bike.
"London needs to think outside the box of conventional solutions to solve its deep-seated traffic and pollution problems," said the company in a statement. "The Thames offers vast, untapped potential to ease and improve London's infrastructure problems. What is needed is imagination to unleash it."
The pathway is designed to rise and fall gently with the river's tidal cycle, and to accommodate commuter and leisure cyclists, as well as pedestrians.
Embankment ramps would be situated at intervals along the route, along with a series of stopping points and refreshment kiosks.
Traffic flow and density, river movement and waves, and any hazardous conditions would be monitored by satellites, weather stations and on-board sensors could relay information directly to the Thames Deckway's users.
River Cycleway Consortium Ltd – currently including engineering giant Arup and London-based Hugh Broughton Architects – estimates that construction costs would amount to approximately £600 million, which it would seek from private investment.
A flat rate of £1.50 would be charged for single journeys to generate revenue for maintainenance.
River Cycleway Consortium Ltd was founded by London artist Anna Hill and architect David Nixon, one of the founding partners of Future Systems.
Currently seeking funding for a detailed feasibility study, the company believes that, if successful, the infrastructure could be completed within two years from full go-ahead.