London Evening Standard)
Wednesday 2 May 2018 13:54
There is indeed “safety in numbers” when cycling in London [“Roads with most cyclists are 13% safer for riders, new survey says”, April 30]. But that’s not the full story.
While cyclists face a lower risk of collisions and injuries on routes where many others cycle too, the study by Dr Aldred and others also highlights that to increase the numbers of people cycling, boroughs and TfL need to build physically protected cycle tracks, cut out rat-running and reduce motor traffic speeds in side roads. That’s what Waltham Forest’s “mini-Holland” has done with great success,.
That’s why the London Cycling Campaign is pressing council leaders in the run-up to the local elections to commit to making high-quality “Liveable Neighbourhoods” — areas where walking and cycling are put first — with the “My Liveable London” campaign. It’s also why we got the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to commit to tripling the mileage of protected space for cycling on main roads and fixing the worst junctions.
To enable more people to cycle, it is vital that every borough prioritises making cycling easier, more comfortable and safer, and that the Mayor gets on with building the new Cycle Superhighways he has promised.
London Cycling Campaign
You are right that borough leaders need to commit to better cycling infrastructure. However, they need to go farther and turn warm words into action — as must Mayor Khan.
As a London Assembly report laid bare last month, Mr Khan, wary of conflict, has promised much but delivered little. The East-West superhighway was extended into Hyde Park and the gap filled around St James’s Park. The North-South superhighway is being extended north from Farringdon. But CS11 (Swiss Cottage), CS9 (Chiswick) and CS4 (Greenwich) are an embarrassment of inaction, despite public support. Only two “quietways” have been built, and amount to little more than fresh paint and signposts. Mr Khan, elected on a promise to make London a “byword for cycling”, has set aside £169 million a year for cycling over the next five years. Where he leads, the boroughs — particularly Labour ones — will follow. Now is the time to put his money where his mouth is.
Ross Lydall, Chief News Correspondent