An amazing post Games legacy for cyclists is within easy grasp of the Mayor and Transport for London, writes Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson. They have the chance to bring Amsterdam’s cycle friendly roads to a whole area of east London. The London Legacy Development Corporation, run personally by the Mayor of London, has the ability to build whatever kind of roads it wants.
They could have a complete network of cycle tracks going to and from every door. They could give cyclists priority at every junction and make the entire area 20mph from the start. They could have cycling or walking as the default option for local residents and design everything accordingly. No talk of streets too narrow for cycle lanes, or traffic modelling that reinforces the status quo. No talk of people not cycling because it is too dangerous. The Mayor only has to say the word and the plans are his to change.
Change is essential. At present, it is all depressingly familiar and designed as if the London 2012 Games had never happened. Cycle lanes are the 1.5m minimum and squeezed onto a few roads around the Park. Cyclists don’t have automatic priority at junctions and there are no plans to make the whole area 20mph. There will be so called ‘accidents’ and people will get hurt on the roads. The current plan assumes that there will be half as many people cycling in his new Park, as currently cycle on the roads of neighbouring Hackney. Transport for London have stuck to the car is king assumptions, but as a hands-on chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation, he can now change that.
The London 2012 Games was an amazing success, especially for our Olympian and Paralympian cyclists. I will be questioning Boris at the London Assembly meeting on the 19th September about how he can deliver a legacy worthy of that cycling success.