There’s a nice proposal for an HS2 cycle path, though I’ve not heard about it before now. Today…

“Boris Johnson has added his voice to calls for a cycle route to be built alongside the proposed HS2 high-speed train line from London to Birmingham … A feasibility study is currently under way on the viability of such a route to be put in place alongside much of the railway line.”

I immediately visualize the path as something very close to the track bed, with cyclists able to sniff the diesel fumes. But — given that HS2 is likely to take a clean 250 yard slice of land around the train tracks — I guess the cycle-path might actually be on one edge of the track space, and would be mostly screened from the track by tree plantings and earth banks.

I certainly like the idea of a brand-new flat cycling route across all that distance, with no need to negotiate all the niggling obstructions and annoyances that a SUSTRANS long-distance cycle route is forced to contend with. But an important thing to forestall would be the possibility of the path becoming a de facto motorbike commuter highway. Or that it might become a haven for local scrambler-motorbike teen gangs, especially on the inner-city approaches to Birmingham/London, who might then become inclined to turn their hand to mugging the commuters. The possibility of motorbike use would ideally be dealt with without erecting annoying tubular-steel anti-motorbike barriers every three hundred yards, which become a mugging risk in their own right (in that they force cyclists to stop). Perhaps there could be a national competition to find the most viable way to keep the HS2 cycleway free of noisy motorbikes, without inconveniencing cyclists?

There will presumably have to be local access tunnels under the HS2 line at various points, despite the security risk entailed, so a cycle-path would not have to stay on one side or other of the tracks all the way from Euston to Eastside.