We hope that the following comments by Andrew Gilligan make cycle campaigners reflect on their strategies:
There is, in fact, a power in the GLA Act which allows the mayor to take control of any road in London. We have to get the agreement from the Secretary of State so it’s not quite the slam dunk we hoped it was.
However we did contemplate using that power in one or two cases on the superhighways. We didn’t have to in the end, the threat of it was enough.
I wonder if it might be worth asking future mayoral candidates whether they would be prepared to use that.
We’re still in the foothills of making London a cycle friendly city and the task for Londoners is to make sure the progress we’ve made continues after May 2016.
There is a chance that whoever is elected next might not care so passionately about cycling. There is also a risk that parts of TfL might feel they have ‘done their bit’ by delivering the segregated routes they are doing now; they have ticked the box, they can get back to buses and trains.
It’s a mistake to think transport investment is a zero-sum game, in which any investment comes at the expense of everyone else. Most of the schemes we’re doing for cyclists have huge benefits for almost everyone else.
My hope in delivering these segregated routes is people realise that traffic doesn’t melt down, it is not the end of the world, it becomes less difficult to do more routes like that.
Gilligan is a clever guy and the message he gives is very clear:
- The task of making London a cycle-friendly city is monumental, not because of its geography but because of strong myopic reactionary forces entrenched in local government
- His primary objective was to score an important win; the EW and NS Cycle Super Highways constitute that first crucial victory
- The ultimate goal is a NETWORK of safe cycle routes; the fight to score the first win was much more demanding than anticipated; as a consequence, insufficient effort has been devoted to the Central London Cycling Grid, with the consequence that no progress has been made on the core of the Vision
- As it is probable that he will not be involved in the new Mayoralty, it is imperative that Cycle Campaigners concentrate their strategy on selling this message to the new Mayor: “Bicycle infrastructure benefits all Londoners” and on convincing her/him that the Cycling Vision cannot be left in the hands of Councils. The Mayor will have to use overwhelming power to defeat the Reactionaries who are making London sick.
Quotes recorded by Laura Laker for Road.cc