London Assembly Member Jenny Jones, the Green Party's candidate in the forthcoming Mayoral Elections, says that basic issues that would make life easier for the capital's cyclists are still not being dealt with, as outlined in this blog post from her. She has also published a report, Cycling In London, based on research compiled through speaking with cyclists in all of London's boroughs over the past year, which you can download at the end of her post. Over to Jenny:
Cycling in London has definitely progressed in the last decade and has continued to expand through the Cycle Hire and Cycle Superhighways.
But there are a lot of basic problems that need to be tackled. By basic, I really do mean the things that cyclists should not have to worry about – signage, parking, maintenance, uninterrupted cycle routes and safety.
I have visited every London borough and been out riding with many local cyclists. It is clear from what they have shown me of their areas that cyclists are facing these difficulties everyday, across the whole of the capital. The report I have published on cycling in London identifies these problems and sets out several recommendations that I believe would make cycling a much better experience.
High priority for cyclists when designing road layouts is one of these recommendations. It’s frustrating for cyclists who have to dismount and mount a number of times or have to negotiate one way streets or cross multiple lanes, because they have just not been considered in the road design. Cyclists are key road users, just like motorists, and this needs to be emphasised.
I recommend secure cycle parking, including card-access facilities, are installed in places where theft from bike stands is prevalent and at every railway station and in all town centres. I’ve seen people cycling to the station in the morning to get the train to work, only to find all the cycle parking spaces are full. It’s highly inconvenient and means that the person has to park their bike elsewhere, often where it is less safe.
Litter, glass and debris does not sound like a major problem, but it can be particularly annoying for cyclists. It only takes one piece of glass to burst a tyre and that person may not bother to get a new one, so that’s another cyclist lost. I recommend that cycle routes are routinely maintained and all boroughs should provide a service for cyclists to report these basic maintenance problems.
Even these three simple recommendations would massively improve cycling. There are eight more in the report that I believe tackle the problems.
I’m certainly not detracting away from the big schemes. They have gone a long way to bring cycling to many more Londoners. But it is the cycling basics that really need to be dealt with in order to improve cycling across London and bring the pleasure of cycling to thousands more.