Thursday 5 May is an important day for Londoners. It marks the end of the Boris era, and the chance to elect a new Mayor.
As a cyclist who commutes almost every day, improving cycling is firmly at the top of my agenda and a main motivation for voting. I can’t help notice that Sadiq Khan has been in the news an awful lot recently, pledging to improve cycling in London. But what is he actually promising?
In his manifesto, Khan pledges to “make cycling and walking safer, with more segregated cycle routes, action on dangerous junctions, and safer lorries.”
He goes into more detail:
“Our most pressing environmental challenge is cleaning up London’s air. I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health, as I suffer from adult-onset asthma. So many pollution hot spots in the city are around schools, exposing our children to dangerously polluted air, and putting them at greater risk of respiratory conditions like mine.”
London is growing massively. If we don’t get more people to cycle we’ll face even higher pollution levels, crippling congestion on our streets and more crowding on the tube. It seems like a no brainer: supporting and enabling more people to cycle safely and enjoyably, would help to tackle this problem.
Put simply, we need more people on bikes.
And in order to do that, we need to make cycling in the capital safer. This goes beyond just painting a few lines on the road and calling them ‘bike lanes’. As a commuter cyclist, I want to see:
- Better education for all road users, so that this awful aggressive ‘us vs them’ culture begins to disappear.
- More cyclists taking up the free lessons that councils offer, so that they are safer on the roads
- Safer lorries
- More visibility at junctions for cyclists and cars
- More segregated cycle highways
- The Met police enforcing the law – cars that stop in bike boxes should get points on the license, and bikes that jump red lights should be fined!
- Something done about air pollution. I mean, just eurgh.
I hope that the candidates for Mayor see a commitment to growing cycling is a commitment to keep London moving, for the benefit of all Londoners. Kahn hasn’t won my vote yet, but so far he’s certainly making me listen to him.
What do you want to see improved in your area for cycling? Would love to hear your comments.