Caroline Russell AM)
Are the wheels coming off the Mayor’s cycle lane programme?
August 20, 2018
London still isn’t a ‘byword for cycling’ despite the Mayor’s campaign slogan – we have a long, long road ahead before our city has enough protected bike lanes that are safe and convenient enough for anyone, aged 8 to 80, to feel they could get on their bike and go from a to b.
I asked Londoners how they feel about cycling in the city and the words and phrases that cropped up repeatedly made for depressing reading ‘I’m frightened’ ‘there’s no cycle route between my home and my work’, ‘I want to take my kids out but it doesn’t feel safe’.
But why isn’t London improving? The Mayor promised not only that London would be a ‘byword for cycling’ but he also committed to Sign for Cycling, specific pledges brought to him by the London Cycling Campaign, including:
- More space for cycling on main roads and at junctions
Our next Mayor must triple the number of miles of protected cycle lanes on London’s roads, to help people of all ages and abilities access the road network by bike.
- A ‘Mini-Holland’ for every London borough
- An end to lorry danger
This must include upgrading the Safer Lorry Scheme and using planning powers over major construction projects so that only the safest lorries, with ‘Direct Vision’ cabs and minimal ‘blind spots’, are allowed onto London’s streets.
To meet his promise of tripling the extent of protected cycle lanes the Mayor would have only had to keep delivering lanes at the speed they were being put in just before he was elected.
I asked him exactly what he had achieved but received a 313-word essay that didn’t contain the two numbers I had asked for.