London's Quietway Cycle Routes

The Evening Standard

London is in back-to-work mode this week and an autumn launch that’s sure to appeal to home buyers is Transport for London’s new “Quietways” system.

This network of cycle routes links the suburbs to the centre, with continuous, clearly signposted paths on back streets, through parks and along waterways.

While making journeys to and from work easier, safer and more enjoyable, Quietways are already causing property ripples by lifting the veil on little-known neighbourhoods that will benefit from reduced motor traffic, better air quality and improved public spaces.

The first seven Quietways straddle 15 London boroughs. The Waterloo to Greenwich route has opened and the others will be completed by spring next year. Phase two, starting in 2018, will extend the network to all London boroughs.

London goes Dutch

TfL is also promoting what it calls  “Mini-Holland” neighbourhoods in outer London boroughs, with grants to implement schemes that make cycling safer and more convenient, encouraging motorists to leave the car at home for short journeys and cycle instead. 

Schemes under way in Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest aim to link residential areas to schools, town centres and green spaces. Estate agents have lost no time in mentioning Mini-Holland in their sales pitches.

“It’s not just cyclists who will be trying to spot places to live along the new routes — a lot of young families will target car-free Quietway areas because they are safer and healthier for kids,”  says Rebecca May of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward. “For example, we expect Earlsfield, part of the Clapham to Wimbledon Quietway, to get a boost. The route runs along the River Wandle and green spaces such as Garratt Park.”

Flats and mews houses at Valentine Place near Waterloo in SE1

Start in Southwark

Dubbed “Q1”, the five-and-a-half-mile Waterloo to Greenwich Quietway is marked with purple signs and connects with other bike paths in the area, including two cycle superhighways. It passes through four boroughs and is ripe territory for anyone searching for a home in the up-and-coming Southwark hinterland.

The route includes a new half-mile link across former railway land between South Bermondsey station and Surrey Canal Road, a fast improving pocket where a new 2,400-home neighbourhood is being created. Starting at hectic Waterloo station, the route immediately cuts through a handsome conservation area wrapping around Roupell Street, an enclave of 19th-century workers’ cottages, now coveted by South Bank theatre and media executives.

Part of this area’s charm is its unvarnished urban residential mix. Away from the swish, river-facing flats are delightful Victorian terraces, charitable and church housing, factory lofts, live-work units, well cared-for public housing and niche private developments.

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