Published: 21 November 2012
Report: British Cycling
British Cycling has welcomed The London Assembly Transport Committee's 'bold' “Gearing up: An investigation into safer cycling in London” report today, the culmination of a five month examination of cycling in the capital. The investigation aimed to understand the issues facing current and prospective cyclists, examine the plans proposed by the Mayor and Transport for London to promote cycling and improve the cycling environment.
The investigation, which British Cycling has been closely involved in from the start, including giving oral evidence in July and submitting a written report in August, resulted in seven key recommendations to the Mayor and Transport for London to help realise the vision of a true ‘cycling revolution’.
In her foreword, London Assembly Transport Committee chair Caroline Pidgeon wrote: “This is a crucial time if the Mayor wants to get more people cycling. The Mayor has an opportunity to capitalise on the growing interest in cycling to make it a major mode of transport. We have heard that many Londoners do not think London is an inviting place to cycle, and they want to see the Mayor and TfL build infrastructure that offers physical protection to cyclists.
“Our report finds that cycling has remained at the political and financial margins of decision-making about London’s roads. In the Netherlands and Copenhagen, city leaders took bold decisions in the 1970s to create safe and attractive places for cycling. In contrast, London has been left behind and has failed to reap the benefits of lower air pollution, improved health and reduced motor traffic congestion. This has to change.”
The London Assembly Transport Committee’s Recommendations
The Assembly’s recommendations resonate with many of the calls that British Cycling has made; In May, British Cycling reminded The Mayor of his pre-election promises to appoint a Cycling Commissioner and to make infrastructure improvements based upon Dutch standards.
Prior to the investigation, in April, we asked our members what the new Mayor needed to do and out of 1471 respondents we heard that 52% felt that more dedicated space for cyclists on the roads is a key issue and a quarter felt that the mayor should focus on improving road conditions.
Responding to the report Martin Gibbs, British Cycling Policy and Legal Affairs Director said:
“British Cycling welcomes this bold report which calls on the Mayor to follow the cycling successes at the Olympics with an Olympic legacy of a genuine step-change in the road space given to cycling. We wholeheartedly agree that with strong political will and investment could and should be the turning point for cycling in London. As the report says, we need political will to make cycling a mainstream form of transport that is supported by high quality, safe cycling routes.”