London Cycling Campaign)
(The video was shot with information that the Mayor would attend the launch, but he did not.)
Today, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced the opening of significant sections of three Quietways schemes in Southwark, Newham and Redbridge. But, says the London Cycling Campaign, these sections all exhibit significant flaws which highlight the ongoing failure of the Quietways programme to deliver continuous, end-to-end routes that are quiet and direct enough to encourage many more people, and a far wider range, of people to cycle.
LCC’s Infrastructure expert Simon Munk said:
“On current rate of progress the Mayor is already set to dramatically undershoot the promise he made to triple the mileage of segregated cycle lanes in London. Now it seems that TfL are offering a substandard Quietway programme as a distraction. A proper network of both segregated lanes and genuine Quietways are essential to meeting the Mayor’s promise to make London a ‘byword for cycling’. Unless the Mayor urgently gets a grip on this, his cycling legacy will be one of promises unfulfilled.”
Today’s opening also stands in stark contrast to the recent announcement of the City’s draft Transport Strategy, whose unambiguous commitment to international standard segregated lanes and genuinely traffic-quietened streets exposes TfL’s timidity and illustrates what the Mayor should be demanding.
The City’s Transport Strategy (full version here, our summary here) not only proposes a 15mph speed limit across the entire borough by 2024, but also aims to reduce motor traffic inside the City by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2044. In part, the City says it will achieve this by introducing both a Zero Emissions Zone and road-user charging to replace the congestion charge, if the Mayor doesn’t do so himself. The City also proposes truly quiet cycle routes – making all roads in the borough either low traffic (less than 150 motor vehicles in the peak hour) or building 2m wide protected cycle tracks along them.
The timidity of TfL’s Quietways are also exposed by what Hackney and Waltham Forest have recently achieved – truly quiet cycle routes as part of what LCC calls “low traffic neighbourhoods”. The Mayor’s Transport Strategy talks of these approvingly; but the evidence is clear – when boroughs refuse to reduce motor traffic, TfL fund their Quietways regardless. It’s time for the Mayor to say enough is enough.
A blog with further detail on the Quietways announcment will follow shortly.