Road Cycling

Are These Underground Cycling Tunnels The Future For British Commuters?

Abandoned tunnels could soon play host to millions of working bikers in the UK...

Photo: Gensler

The congestion in London has become a subject of infamy in the United Kingdom.

From those stuck in the centre of it on a saddle to those in a driver’s seat or on the tube thinking about killing the person in front of them, it’s not a problem that is going to go away by itself – unless people begin to act on those murderous thoughts of course, which is hardly an ideal response.

Design firm Gensler have just come up with a potential answer that will make cyclists grin though – and it doesn’t involve the beheading of drivers who shout: “get back on the pavement”.

Gensler have already won the ‘Best Conceptual Project’ prize at the London Planning awards for the idea…

Rather, the creative company have come up with the idea of transforming London’s abandoned tube tunnels into active space beneath the city, where cyclists could pedal free from the worry of getting called “two-wheeled wankers” by dicks in cars.

The project is called the ‘London Underline’, and it’s already gathered a fair bit of backing, winning the ‘Best Conceptual Project’ prize at the London Planning awards, an event where we like to imagine everyone turned up late.

Photo: Gensler

The Underline would see old stretches of tube line converted into travel space available for pedestrians and cyclists, with each path surfaced with kinetic paving to generate electricity and make the design more eco-friendly.

Boris bike spots would guard the entrance to each tunnels, which would feed back into old tube stations, but there could be a problem in the fact that there aren’t actually that many abandoned tunnels in London. Most of them are still very much active, carrying commuters and inciting rage and despair on a daily basis.

You’d only have to yell at pedestrians and other cyclists to get out your way rather than scooters, motorbikes, cars, taxis and buses…

We like the concept though. It’s no secret that London is far too busy, so making use of space currently wasted seems like a damn good idea, if not one that will take valuable working space away from underground gangsters.

It should also make for some primetime road racing spots, and best of all, you’d only have to yell at pedestrians and other cyclists to get out your way rather than scooters, motorbikes, cars, taxis and buses. Although you may still get the occasional rollerblader with no respect for anything but the 1990s.

Check out the video below for more information, and some muffled words from a woman who doesn’t like rain and a dude in a taxi who isn’t too keen on congestion:

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