Tomorrow's vote on segregated cycle superhighways could help make London a city of the future
Despite vehement and sometimes shadowy opposition, Transport for London look set to finalise plans for ambitious segregated bike routes.
The omens, as far as they can be read, are good. On Wednesday, it seems, the Transport for London board will vote through plans to build London’s first properly-segregated, Dutch-style cycle lanes, the most ambitious ever seen in the country and hopefully then also a beacon for other cities.
Even with no cyclists’ representatives on the 17-member board, which does include envoys from the fiercely sceptical Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and from the Canary Wharf Group, as well as from a group representing minicab firms, the political impetus of a directly elected mayor, Boris Johnson, and a huge and overwhelmingly favourable public consultation would seem unstoppable.
We’re genuinely not anti-cyclist. Half the guys in my office cycle to work. What we need in London is a scheme that works from everyone. And cycling is a key part, we totally get that. We genuinely want it to work. It’s so much better when you’re driving a vehicle and you’re not worried where the cyclists is, as they’re inside a segregated lane. But this scheme isn’t the one.
The big names that have signed up, it’s not exactly a democratic process within the company. The people who are very pro-cycling within that company have virtually strong-armed some of them into supporting this.
If you’re asking me if I think do cyclists in London punch above their weight, particularly in the media and social media, then yes I think they do.
As with the environmentalists, who are prepared to sacrifice great swathes of the country on the altar of bio-ism, so it is with the ‘experts’ in traffic, who are so cycling centric that they are blind to the consequences of their actions. Or is it that they just don’t care? …
Can you think of any other explanation for this mad rush to drive vehicles off the streets of London in order to make a cyclist’s paradise? I can’t.
Many people have approached us and said, ‘We’re dead against this, we think it’s wrong, and we want to support you.’ We say, ‘Great, do you want to come on the TV with us?’ and they say, ‘Oh no, can’t do that. The cycling lobby would be all over us.’
The fact is the mayor has made a decision to go ahead with it. In relation to our objections, certain concessions have been made, but many have not. But nonetheless it is the mayor’s decision, and if that is so, it has to be.
The business believes more of its employees would cycle to work if they felt comfortable and safe on the roads. It feels the proximity of its three central London offices to the routes will help it attract and retain staff.
Source: Guardian Transport
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