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'Skycle' scheme set to take off

by Jim Dunton Fri 20 September 2013, 5:01 pm

Plans to create a "Skycle" route linking Heathrow Airport with central London have won the backing of London Mayor Boris Johnson's cycle tsar.

The scheme to extend the proposed Cycle Superhighway between Hounslow and central London to take in Feltham town centre and the airport had been included in Hounslow’s bid for a slice of a multi-million pound mayoral funding pot. The cash is set to create “mini Hollands” in the capital's outer suburbs.

But while the borough’s bid was not shortlisted in the scheme, deputy council leader Colin Ellar has revealed that Hounslow’s plans have been supported by cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan.

He said that a letter received from Gilligan and Transport for London’s chief operating officer for surface transport, Garrett Emmerson, indicated the Skycle scheme was likely to proceed.

Councillor Ellar said the response was “great news” for the borough.

“We are mildly disappointed that we were not shortlisted for the mini-Holland programme, however, this could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as sometimes less is more,” he said.

“The announcement from the cycling commissioner that the borough is to get a high quality cycle route connecting all our town centres and the airport is hugely exciting.”

An extract from the Gilligan letter published by the council said: “I was very impressed with the level of political commitment and officer expertise at Hounslow.

“We are looking to fund a high quality, self-contained route to Heathrow either from Hyde Park or one confined to Hounslow.”

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