London Assembly Transport Committee

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
London Assembly Transport Committee

As you may all have seen via Twitter, the London Assembly Transport committee is looking into barriers to cycling in the capital - see here

Responses have to be in by the 4th July by email or tweet (so nice, nuanced views there *sigh*). Obviously we'd urge everyone to get their responses in themselves on their own behalf, but we'll also be trying to generate an embassy response so if there's any burning point you feel we should be making, please let us know  - or if you want to get involved drafting a response. 


I've gone all bombastic. I think it needs splitting up a bit, perhaps, or re-arranging? 


The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain supports the Assembly's decision to look closely at cycling in London. 

A number of factors come in to play in London which should make it an ideal place for cycling to be an activity undertaken by the majority of Londoners the majority of the time.

The mayor's proposal - to increase cycling to 5% modal share over more than 10 years - is probably doomed to failure, because of its utter paucity of ambition: the modal share envisaged is so low that it cannot be reasonably demonstrated that there will be sufficient numbers for the 'safety in numbers' argument to hold sway. Even if one believes that safety in numbers as a driver of safety is demonstrated in places like Denmark and the Netherlands, it isn't possible to suggest that this would translate to London, since the levels of cycling in these places is so much higher than the unambitious 5% the mayor's target calls for.

Furthermore, the initiative is likely to be doomed to failure because the level of cycling being targeted does not, of itself, justify the building of the type of high-quality, city-wide infrastructure that ensures that Dutch towns have areas where more than half of all journeys are made by bike. And survey after survey, including those conducted by TfL itself, have shown that, whilst most non-cyclists like - in principle - the idea of cycling more (or indeed cycling at all), they are not prepared to actually get on a bicycle because they believe it to be dangerous. 

Whilst cycling is demonstrably not an especially dangerous mode of transport, it has been clearly shown that it is the widespread perception of danger that stops more people from cycling: nothing in the mayor's original proposals addresses this, and the ongoing failures at places like Bow, Elephant and Castle, London Bridge and Kings Cross only serve to emphasise in the wider public mind, how dangerous cycling supposedly is.

It is the Cycling Embassy's view that any attempt in London to significantly increase the share of transport journeys by bicycle needs to properly address a range of issues, from the genuine fear non-cyclists express, and the pejorative and negative view of cyclists encouraged even by the mayor, to the view that 'traffic calming' means preferring motorised vehicles over pedestrians and cyclists, and the unwillingness to create infrastructure which properly supports safe, un-stressed cycle journeys. 

Log in or register to post comments