13 July 2012
Speaking at a special London Assembly transport committee hearing, looking at improving cycling provision and safety, British Cycling’s Director for Policy and Legal Affairs, Martin Gibbs, has called for cycling to be written into the heart of all transport and infrastructure policies in the capital.
Gibbs, who was joined at the meeting by representatives of the London Cycling Campaign, CTC and Sustrans, said “It’s essential that cycling is considered in all transport and infrastructure policy decisions and for cyclists to be considered equal road users with everyone else. Good quality infrastructure with cycling designed-in from the start is what is needed.”
Many members of the public attended the open forum and spoke about their experiences of cycling and what they considered to be the main barriers to cyclists in London.
It became clear that many potential cyclists are put off by the poor quality, or lack of, cycling infrastructure and attendant safety concerns on London’s busy roads.
The point was made that if road infrastructure is designed with the most vulnerable road users – including cyclists and the young and the elderly - in mind, then generally all road users benefit.
There was also clear consensus that more dedicated space and proper segregation were essential for cyclists.
These observations are broadly consistent with the results of a survey of British Cycling members run ahead of the London Mayoral election, where the majority of respondents identified an increase in the number of cycle lanes as their priority issue.
The London Assembly is now taking written submissions and British Cycling will be making one on behalf of the organisation's members. Caroline Pidgeon, the Transport Committee’s Chair has specifically asked for responses to the following questions:
What are the main safety concerns of cyclists in London?
What has been the impact of recent cycle safety infrastructure improvements in London?
What lessons have been or should be learned from the existing cycle superhighways?
What lessons can be learned from national or international best practice on cycling safety?