Time is running out for you to have your say on Transport for London's draft cycle safety action plan.
Safety is a big concern for all cyclists, and most importantly for those who'd like to cycle but are just too afraid. The new draft makes some excellent observations that are right on point; "The Mayor wants to transform London into a cycling city but this must be supported by new safety initiatives to ensure that casualty rates do not rise as a consequence." However, other areas leave a lot to be desired.
Most tellingly of all, of the 7 key proposals put forward by the draft, 3 are in direct relation to taking action on HGVs on our city's roads. This despite the fact that Boris Johnson is planning to close the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Inspection Unit which checks over lorries for safety defects and encourages safer driving.
Inevitably, the draft also focuses strongly on the London Cycle Hire Scheme which is due to launch here in the summer of 2010 and the so-called Cycling Superhighways, the first two of which will also launch next year. The hire scheme will, apparently, be accompanied by a video encouraging responsible and safe use and a 'code of conduct' for users.
There are lots of co-operative and voluntary projects between various cycling stakeholders proposed, and some cheap but very effective ideas such as the introduction of concave mirrors at traffic lights to allow high-sided vehicles to see into their own blind spots and see any cyclists stuck down their sides.
It also mandates for the continuation of free cycle training for adults across London, which is an excellent project, and spots some encouraging trends such as the 107% increase in numbers of cyclists between 2000 and 2008.
Perhaps most sadly, the draft has a pitiful target of 5% mode share of journeys by bicycle by 2026, which is less like a velorution and more like a wet Wednesday matinee of Les Miserables. (Copenhagen is currently working towards 50%)
If Boris really is as passionate about cycling in the city as he makes out to be I’d expect this draft to have lots of proposals (at least proposals, even if they aren’t followed through!) on advance traffic lights sequences for cyclists, upgrades of existing cycle lane infrastructure to segregated cycle ways, stricter penalties for infringing motorists and much more that seems to be sadly lacking from the draft in it’s current form.
If Boris really is as passionate about cycling in the city as he makes out to be, I’d expect him to be thinking big, not small as he currently is.
For those wanting to comment on the draft, you have till just the 11th of December to write in person and can do so here.
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