20mph zone and better bike lanes coming for the City of London?

You'll remember earlier in the year I urged you all to respond to the City of London's Local Implementation Plan.  It was a key opportunity to get cycling firmly on the agenda in the Square Mile, and many of you took the time to write in to tell the City to wake up and smell the energy drink - it was time they started to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to providing for cycling.

Holborn Circus, in the City of London

Some 113 people wrote to the City - thank you! - and it would seem the City is prepared to listen.  Cyclists in the City blog reports that's 100 more than the last time the Guildhall consulted on its transport plans, and there were letters supporting cycling from representatives of some of the biggest employers and financial institutions in the Square Mile.  The consultation, having worked its way through various meetings, has now been discussed by the Policy Committee who voted to support the three following amendments to the original LIP document, formulated as a direct consequence of all those letters you sent:

"(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, with a further recommendation that these routes include both the London Cycle Network routes on City Corporation streets and several north–south and east–west quieter back-street routes through the City.

(3) A commitment to formally investigate the desirability of a 20 mph speed limit or 20 mph zone covering the whole of the City, with a further recommendation that the preferred option for such a speed limit or zone incorporate the Transport for London road network in the City."

This is a huge break-through for all of you who took the time to tell the City to step up to the plate, and a potentially game-changing decision for future plans for the City's streets. (Although, of course, saying this in a Local Implementation Plan is no promise of change on the ground in the future - but it's a start!)

But this is good news only in principle...  Whilst the City has shown it is prepared to listen to its own consultation process, the Policy Committee can only recommend the above points be included.  The ultimate decision rests with the Chair (Stuart Fraser) and Deputy Chair of the Policy Committee along with the Transport and Planning Committee.  If (and it is a very big if) they approve the above recommendations, the LIP will then have to be signed off by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who, with his own policies about 'smoothing traffic flow' may well not be keen on the 20mph zone himself (Blackfriars Bridge, anyone?!).

Making space for cycling?

But the first challenge for people on bikes is to get the Chair (Stuart Fraser) and Deputy Chair of the Policy Committee with the Transport and Planning Committee to approve including the 20mph zone, road casualty reductions and continuos cycle lane provisions in the LIP.  If we succeed it will be a great victory - being the financial heart of London and a uniquely important local authority, what happens in the City will hopefully soon be followed by other Boroughs.  But as Cyclists in the City report, some of the gentlemen on the Committee who have been charged with approving these amendments have a somewhat tabloid view of us cyclists.

So, the question is... remaining positive, professional, upbeat and engaging, how do we get these City politicians to say 'Yes' to better conditions for people on foots and people on bikes?  Any and all ideas are welcome!

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Gaz said...

As you say, what happens here will affect many other borughs in london. I so hope the 20mph limit gets accepted. It doesn't affect traffic flow and keeps everyone safe!
As with Blackfriars, perhaps we need to take the angle that these are for vulnerable road users, cyclists and pedestrains.

angus h said...

100% agree with Gaz. 20mph is not just about cyclists - it's about safe roads for pedestrians, children, you name it; and sending a message that people should only drive a car in to the middle of the city if they absolutely need to. Perhaps there's some way to convince the black cab, white van & Addison Lee lot who usually oppose traffic calming measures that more pedestrians & bikes = fewer private cars = more road for them. They need to stop seeing cyclists as fitter, faster, wealthier and (yes) sometimes less law abiding, and realise that for every bike that filters past them at the lights (much to their chagrin, no doubt), there's one less private car they have to queue behind.

On foot, the City's pavements are so often overcrowded and congested (and with all the new high rise offices going in, it ain't going to get any better) that stepping out in to the road is often necessary; 20mph limits is one way of making it less hazardous to do so.

Tycoonwoman said...

Well done you and everyone else who wrote in. I missed your campaign so I wasn't one of them. As a cyclist I get so annoyed at the lip service paid to cycling - encouraging people to get on their bikes when I experience the reality of poor cycle routes, inconsiderate drivers and my biggest bug bare no bike racks! I think it should be compulsory to have a bike rack outside premises of organisations over a certain size. I went to the holiday inn Kensington and they looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if they had a bike rack. It is a conference centre as well as a hotel so they should anticipate that some delegates may be cyclists.

Keep up the good work

Tejvan Pettinger said...

A key issue is traffic speed. 20mph makes a huge difference in terms of safety and enjoyability of cycling. Slower traffic speeds make it much easier to do manoeuvres like turn right. Hopefully this will be given higher priority. Though its one thing to have a 20mph limit its another to enforce it.

pakistancycling said...

it is good for road safety

Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion: has anyone politely invited some of these people you're trying to convince out for an easy ride (and walk)? I imagine if they could feel for themselves the difference riding (and walking) in a 20mph area compared to a 30mph zone (and throw some stats at them along the route), they may be more persuadible.


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