Gilligan told the Hackney Cycling Conference on Friday that of seven proposed “quiet” routes through boroughs, only one will be of an acceptable quality, because most borough councils won’t close streets to rat running traffic.
Boris Johnson’s former cycling csar, who said air quality is to the 21st Century what clean water was to the 19th Century, and that struggle can’t be won without cycling, also revealed he will continue campaigning for cycling, as part of a coalition called Human Streets.
Gilligan said: “I think the Quietways programme is a failure at the moment. There’s going to be a couple of good ones, but not many more.”
Admitting it was always the programme he was “most worried about”, he said: “the key thing that was supposed to happen with Quietways – filtering – isn’t happening on the whole”.
The main problems, he says, are disagreements over the quality of the routes between TfL and the boroughs, and because too few staff in TfL have been appointed to the Quietways programme. He says these staff are essential to anticipate objections and manage stakeholders.
Gilligan describes the Quietway programme as “at a very clear risk of death” unless they are “much more actively managed by TfL (Transport for London)” in the same way the Superhighways were.
“I’m still going to be involved in cycling advocacy more broadly”, he said, “and a group of us are coming together to set up a blog, which will be called Human Streets, and will hopefully keep up the pressure on the Mayor and others for cycling improvements. It will draw on my knowledge, it will draw on my time at City Hall, but it will be broader than that as well,” he said.