- PIPPA CRERAR City Hall Editor
- 16 hours ago
Sadiq Khan’s new cycling czar today insisted that London was safe for cyclists – despite three riders being killed on the capital’s streets in recent days.
Will Norman described a week of carnage on the roads – in which two pedestrians also died – as “devastating” for Londoners.
But he insisted he only rode a bike and allowed his own children, aged six and nine, to cycle because he truly believed the streets were safe.
The Mayor himself has confessed that he refused to allow his own teenage daughters to cycle on roads in London because of concerns over lack of safety.
Mr Norman, the capital’s first Walking and Cycling Commissioner, suggested politicians had for too long focused on cycling safety while the fate of pedestrians had been “neglected”.
Will Norman insists the streets of London really are safe for cyclists
Latest figures show there were 66 pedestrian fatalities in London in 2015. Nine cyclists died that year, and the same number were killed cycling in the capital last year.
Last week Anita Szucs, 30, was fatally injured in an apparent hit-and-run by a car driver in Edmonton, Karla Roman, 32, died after being dragged under a coach in Whitechapel Road and father-of-two Ben Wales, 32, was killed in a HGV crash in Silvertown.
In his first interview since starting at City Hall on Monday, Mr Norman told the Standard: “I’ve been cycling in London for 15 years and I honestly believe that cycling in London is safe.
“I don’t think I would cycle around, and my kids wouldn’t cycle around, London without it being safe.”
Anita Szucs, 30, suffered critical injuries in a suspected hit-and-run
“It could be safer, of course, but it’s also about how people feel… A lot of it is about how can we can show more people that it is safe.”
He added: “[Last week] shows why this work is so important but also that we have got to work harder and put more into this to make sure we don’t have more weeks like that.”
Mr Norman, 40, former global partnerships director at Nike, said pedestrians, unlike cyclists, had been “ignored” by transport planners for too long.
“There hasn’t been the same advocacy and campaigning around pedestrian safety in the past – it’s something that has been neglected by politicians and policy making,” he said.