Another small success: where the City of London leads, Transport for London should follow

Some of you may remember, about a year ago, my encouraging a lot of you to write to the City of London regarding their Draft Local Implementation Plan.  It was the first joint-measure where myself and Danny from Cyclists in the City teamed up and, well, we haven't stopped since to be honest!

And now it seems we have a success in the City. After many, many of you wrote to the City to tell them that their plans weren't bold enough and that if they wanted to get serious about 10% of all people travelling to or through the Square Mile, they had to get serious about road danger reduction and making cyclists feel safe, secure and welcome.

City of London Cycle Style event, 2010. More of the same on our streets, please!

Last Friday, the City announced that TfL have signed off on the revised Draft plan.  The City has now committed to thinking seriously about inviting cycling and making small steps towards making the Square Mile a nicer place to ride a bike. The revised LIP now includes these points:

(1) More ambitious road traffic casualty targets to reduce the number of persons killed or seriously injured to 50% below the 2004–2008 average by 2020 and the total number of persons injured to 30% below the 2004–2008 average by 2020.

(2) A commitment to provide continuous high-quality conditions for cycling on several routes through the City, including both the London Cycle Network (LCN) routes on City Corporation streets and several north–south and east–west quieter back-street routes through the City.

(3) A proposal to formally investigate the desirability of a 20 mph speed limit or a 20 mph zone covering the whole of the City, with a preference for a speed limit or zone that incorporates the Transport for London road network (red routes)

And there are more encouraging words from the LIP - it talks about walking and cycling throughout, and recognises that they can (and should!) be key ways for people to make their way around.  "Standards that were possibly acceptable when cycling was a minority activity, such as narrow cycle lanes, shallow or non-existent advanced stop lines and minimal levels of employee and visitor cycle parking provision will not be adequate. Cycling will continue to increase in popularity and become an even more important City mode of travel."Bold words in the political world, and words that Transport for London's Chair, Boris Johnson, could do with reminding himself of. 

The City of London politicians and planning department should be applauded for listening to all those (all 108 of you!) who took the time to write and to get involved in the LIP process, and those of you who were involved should feel very proud indeed - you've hopefully helped the City to take a step towards making itself a better place.

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It's nice when we get results, no?  Onwards and upwards!


Paul M said...

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say the City is "leading", but certainly it is not dragging its feet to any great extent. Although there are some councilmen who are overtly hostile to cyclists for all the well-rehearsed reasons, most are either supportive or agnostic, but definitely pro-pedestrian (94% of City workers arrive otherwise than by car/taxi) and they see the benefits in taming the motor vehicle.

108 doesn't sound like a huge number, and it is less than we had hoped for, but in terms of these consultations it is actually a massive response. It is also about 107 more than last time, in around 2000, and about 106 more than any other interest group outside the statutory consultees managed to produce.

It also contained a wide range of city workers, from some real heavy-hitters at major City institutions including law firms, accountants, banks and insurers, through churches and charities to individuals, even cycle couriers - despite this information age, the City still critically depends on hard copy documents, physically signed and stamped, and who do you think carries them from one signatory to another?

It all demonstrates that the bicycle is key to the lifeblood of the City. Politicians there are not political in the normal sense - generally they are more-or-less enlightened promoters of business interests and that means promoting personal interests of the people who work in those businesses - mainly not car commuters.

Meanwhile at the GLA we have a Mayor and a handful of tory assembly members who evidently identify toryism with promotion of the private car - Boris has come out explicitly announcing himself pro-car as he starts to campaign for May - and the others, I suspect a majority, who would apply tory political philosophy more purely and thus alter the balance between motor and leg-power, always end up circling the wagons whenever the opposition criticises Boris' insane transport policies.

fadrickvagat said...

Bold words in the political world, and words that Transport for London's Chair, Boris Johnson, could do with reminding himself of.

man and van