Monday, February 11, 2008

Ken Pledges Dedicated Cycle Routes

The headlines are good – 12 bicycle motorways through London – but we’ll have to wait for the detail. Routes ‘around’ Croydon are all very well but the main pressure in London has to be for a West-East route across London and there is no mention of that yet.

I recently wrote to Sustrans asking about this and they replied, “But you're absolutely right, it would excellent to have high profile direct commuter routes on the main transport corridors with dedicated space for cyclists. Unfortunately, at the moment, this probably is a bit too ambitious though. It is extremely difficult to get TfL and the boroughs to reduce road capacity for cars. And one of the reasons that they cite is the current relatively low levels of cycling compared with other modes. This is obviously a frustrating chicken and egg situation.”

Edmund King, of the AA, is quoted as saying, "I think separating out cyclists can only be good for everyone.” No – we need to reduce provision for cars and have lower speed limits, not separate them all out.

Geoff Dossetter, from the Freight Transport Association, says, "The other concern we have had in the past is the behaviour of cyclists.” How about some cycle awareness training for lorry drivers?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Cycling Ignored in London Mayoral Election Campaign

According to the Evening Standard a quarter of Londoners would cycle to work if the roads were safer. If that were true one would expect the candidates to include safe cycle routes in their manifestos. Sadly not.

There is only one line in Boris’ manifesto that refers to cycling. He writes, “Cycling must be made easier and safer.” Hurrah for that, but it seems a little short on detail.

Meanwhile I can’t find much from the LibDem’s Brian Paddick other than, “We need to encourage cycling in London and do whatever we can to make it safer.”

Ken’s website is similarly short on detail.

Even the London paper lacks commitment. The Evening Standard recently ran a poll on the “issues” for Londoners. The poll showed that transport, at 36% was the most important issue for Londoners but when it got into the detail cycling was lumped under “other”. So much for their commitment to Safer Cycling.

You might expect the London Cycling Campaign to be more ambitious. There is nothing wrong with their manifesto but it just seems so unambitious - 20mph speed limit, more training, more parking and more PR.