Alex Bowden November 11 2016
Deputy mayor for transport tells Chris Boardman and Caroline Russell that stretch will be completed as planned
Assurances have been made that the Spur Road and Birdcage Walk section of London’s East-West Cycle Superhighway will be completed next year after fears that Royal Parks would not allow it to pass in front of the Queen Victoria Memorial.
The government agency, which manages eight parks in the capital, wanted the planned route changed to avoid Birdcage Walk and instead use the Mall.
According to The London Evening Standard, both Chris Boardman and Green Party London Assembly member Caroline Russell have now been given assurances that it will be built.
Boardman spoke with Val Shawcross, Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for transport and was told it is going ahead as planned.
“I had a good meeting with Val,” he said. “She has always been a supporter of cycling. I’m well aware in politics it’s not always about the person who has the top job. I don’t know the system she has to work with.”
Russell is to question Sadiq Khan about delays to the cycle superhighway at next week’s Mayor’s Question Time. She said that she too had been told by Shawcross that the work would be going ahead.
“We just need to keep watching it,” she said. “Despite the fact we are seeing really positive stuff in terms of the number of people using these cycle routes, there are an awful lot of people who would prefer the polluted, congested status quo.”
It does however seem likely that a new cycling and walking commissioner will not be appointed until next year.
Boardman expressed disappointment that Transport for London had failed to “pick the brains” of Andrew Gilligan who had fulfilled the role under Boris Johnson.
“There is knowledge there that isn’t being used. There was no move even to keep him as an interim until they had a replacement. If you want to triple the amount of cycle lanes, you can quickly start to run out of time if there are months when nothing new has happened.”