On your bike…
London is becoming increasingly cycle friendly. Initiatives introduced by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London are encouraging commuters off public transport and onto two wheels. TfL estimate a 5% year on year increase in cycling journeys within central London’s congestion charge zone.
Emma Hanks of Stacks Property Search says, “Unlike leisure cyclists who are taking over the country lanes, cyclists in London tend to be all about utility – saving time, saving money, saving the stress of being crammed into buses and tubes like sardines. Health may be a by-product, but generally not the main objective.
“Consequently, property buyers are as likely to be studying cycling routes as they are tube and bus maps when deciding where to buy. The cycling map is changing all the time – and generally for the better. A network of Cycle Superhighways is growing and improving all the time, offering cyclists safer, faster routes from A to B.
“We are increasingly hearing from buyers that they want a good cycle route to the City, or to other places of work. Along with a good cycle route, they want (crucially) space in the property to store a bike. Some new build properties are factoring bike storage into their spec, but period properties often have a suitable spot for safe storage – it’s just another item on the must-have list.
“Ground floor properties are obviously the most sensible choice, and an exclusive entrance is helpful. Wall-mountings allow you to keep a bike in a relatively minimally sized hallway without obstructing access. Bikes in communal parts don’t go down well with freeholders or other leaseholders. Other options include a shed in the garden, or a vault space under the front area.”
Stacks London cycle hot spots include:
There’s an 8.5 mile long route (The Barclays Cycle Superhighway) to the City (Bank) that shouldn’t take any longer than 45 minutes to cycle, while the tube will take 35 mins from Colliers Wood to Bank station but obviously not including the walk to the office.
Merton, Tooting and Colliers Wood are great residential areas with fantastic capital growth potential and still affordable, with lots of cafes, bars and delis. A two bedroom flat in a converted house in a quiet residential street such as Clive Road SW19 or Dafforne Road SW17 opposite Tooting Common will sell for around £550,000- £600,000.
It will take 25 minutes to get to Bank by tube, but only 15 minutes cycling along the main roads. More cautious cyclists can choose a route that follows mostly quiet backstreets, canals and park routes and still beat the tube by a couple of minutes.
A two bedroom flat in one of the leafy roads off Upper Street N1 such as College Cross or Richmond Avenue will set you back around £850,000.
Lancaster Gate, W2
As the new and improved East-West Cycle highway is about to be introduced, running from Lancaster Gate via Victoria Embankment to the City (Canon Street and Tower Hill), cyclists may be interested in Lancaster Gate which is fantastically located between Kensington and Oxford Street. Hyde Park is easily accessible for a nice relaxing weekend pedal.
Two bedroom flats here located on garden squares such as Queens Gardens and Cleveland Square, with elegant stucco fronting and high ceilings, will range from £850,000 – £1.2m.
Shad Thames, SE1
Although still in the process of consultation, the North-South superhighway will provide safe access from Elephant and Castle through the city to beyond Kings Cross. This will mean a ten-minute cycle ride from the ever-popular Shad Thames where fantastic original warehouses have been transformed into modern spacious flats with exposed brick walls and timber beams.
Two bedroom flats here will cost from £700,000 to £1m, often with views of the river and sometimes the lovely Tower Bridge itself.
Stacks London Property search and Acquisition – www.stackslondon.co.uk – 020 7458 4155