Get on your bike to show politicians you want Space for Cycling in London

LCC urges cyclists to join traffic-free family ride and rally next weekend

by Sarah Barth   May 11, 2014  

Big Ride London (from London Cycling Campaign)

The London Cycling Campaign is holding a 'Space for Cycling' Big Ride on Saturday 17 May 2014 to show politicians in the run up to the local elections that people want streets that are safe and inviting for everyone to cycle.

The mass participation event starts in Park Lane, with crowds gathering from 11am for a midday start, and from 1pm there'll be a rally on the Embankment with guest speakers.

There’ll be a car free route taking in Hyde Park Corner, Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square - and it’s billed as a family friendly ride with experienced ride marshals.

En route, the Big Ride will also meet with the London Tweed Run, which has LCC as its charity partner. 

Guided rides will help bring people from outer London locations to the Park Lane start point. Maps of feeder rides are available here.

Participants are encouraged to wear bright colours, fun costumes, and to bring flags and banners, or buy a Space for Cycling T-shirt to wear.

In 2012, LCC organised a similar Big Ride the weekend before the mayoral election, which inspired the Pedal on Parliament rides in Scotland.

On the eve of the 2012 Big Ride, Boris Johnson became the last of the five main mayoral candidates to pledge his support to the three key demands of its Love London, Go Dutch campaign. Perhaps more pertinently, it came 24 hours after his chief rival, Ken Livingstone, had himself backed the campaign.

The Space For Cycling campaign includes measures such as:

  • lowering vehicle speeds
  • removing through motor traffic on minor/residential streets
  • installing physically protected space for cycling on main roads
  • opening up our green areas for cycling
  • creating safe cycle routes to schools
  • improving London's town centres to make them easier to visit by bike

22 user comments

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I know it can be a bit London centric on here but I would have expected some mention of the fact that LCC's Space for Cycling is now a nationwide campaign organised by the CTC and Cyclenation with funding from the Bicycle Association. There are also rides happenning in Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.

http://www.ctc.org.uk/campaign/space-for-cycling

posted by drfabulous0 [340 posts]
11th May 2014 - 16:41

28 Likes

But not one in Cambridge, "the UK's most cycle-friendly city" and home to part of the Tour de France. Applause

posted by Mick Davidson [7 posts]
11th May 2014 - 19:27

9 Likes

I'll be at the one in Manchester with the kids, it remains to be seen how much the police do to enforce safe cycling conditions through Rusholme and the oxford road corridor though.

posted by GREGJONES [116 posts]
11th May 2014 - 22:38

11 Likes

Mick Davidson wrote:
But not one in Cambridge, "the UK's most cycle-friendly city" and home to part of the Tour de France. Applause

Typo: Should be Ambridge.

posted by SteppenHerring [202 posts]
11th May 2014 - 23:27

8 Likes

GREGJONES wrote:
I'll be at the one in Manchester with the kids, it remains to be seen how much the police do to enforce safe cycling conditions through Rusholme and the oxford road corridor though.

I'll see you there, I'll be the guy on the red Bakfiets. I don't expect any action from the police, just that the critical mass effect should keep things safe.

posted by drfabulous0 [340 posts]
12th May 2014 - 10:04

11 Likes

The latest info about the Manchester Ride on the GMCC website states there won't be a police escort:
http://www.gmcc.org.uk/2014/05/space-for-cycling-gmcc-big-ride-saturday-...

But I'll be there with kids too, so I hope the numbers should make it less threatening than riding up Oxford Road usually is!

posted by pmanc [117 posts]
12th May 2014 - 10:43

11 Likes

I'll be at the Newcastle one. No road closures or marshalls either, just a two mile pootle around the city centre.
Slightly smaller numbers than in London I suspect!

http://newcycling.org/events/20140411/big-ride-around-town

posted by GrahamSt [91 posts]
12th May 2014 - 11:13

8 Likes

drfabulous0 wrote:
I'll see you there, I'll be the guy on the red Bakfiets.

I dare you to take it down the start ramp of the BMX track on Platt Fields!

posted by farrell [1451 posts]
12th May 2014 - 11:36

4 Likes

It says 'installing physically protected space for cycling on main roads'.

As a very regular rider into London, this isnt the way to go, especially if this means putting kerbstones at the right hand boundary of a cycle lane. Those that ride at a more swift pace that others, and there always will be, will be stuck in too narrow lanes behind Boris bike wobblers.
I dare say its the Boris bike wobblers that have so far had the loudest voice, bleating on about how 'unsafe' they feel, so the (waste of) Space For Cycling campaign has been swayed by what in fact is a minority of insecure individuals.
Cycling needs to co-exist on the roads and some of the riders need to stick to trains if they feel its insecure or man-up.
Lets face it, if the same people feel insecure about driving do they bang on about having special driving space, do motorcyclists demand special lanes because they feel insecure.

roll on the criticism .....

posted by duc888 [37 posts]
12th May 2014 - 12:50

4 Likes

duc888 wrote:
so the (waste of) Space For Cycling campaign has been swayed by what in fact is a minority of insecure individuals.

They aren't the minority. We are.

If commuter cycling in our cities ever rises to Dutch/Danish levels as a total percentage, you'll see how much of a minority the road.cc readers are in the bigger cycling world.

posted by bikebot [547 posts]
12th May 2014 - 13:57

12 Likes

@farrell Time for a reality check here!

Providing kerbed protected lanes on big main roads is the only way to encourage mass cycling. This has worked in countless places all over the world, and anything else has consistently failed.

If you think these types of lanes are 'slow', you're wrong. I've ridden across Amsterdam at rush hour when late for a meeting, and you can easily cover ground just as quickly as you can in London ... but without having to dice with death.

And amazingly the same lanes are being used by children, the elderly and other slower people. It's simply a matter of designing those lanes and junctions well enough to allow rapid travel by bike including overtaking.

I'll be in London this Saturday - not because I'm a slow cyclist or I ride with kids but because I want everyone in London to have the same freedom I do.

posted by fluffy_mike [79 posts]
12th May 2014 - 13:59

12 Likes

farrell wrote:
drfabulous0 wrote:
I'll see you there, I'll be the guy on the red Bakfiets.

I dare you to take it down the start ramp of the BMX track on Platt Fields!

I might just accept your challenge, I have ridden it down the start ramp at Bruntwood but sadly I can't roll over the jumps without it bottoming out.

posted by drfabulous0 [340 posts]
12th May 2014 - 14:20

3 Likes

The last time I was in Platt Fields my wife told me I wasn't allowed to ride down the start ramp or go anywhere near the BMX track.

(To be fair, we were in the middle of doing our wedding photos as we'd got married about an hour earlier.)

Has Bruntwood been resurfaced recently? It was a bit of a death trap last time I was on it.

posted by farrell [1451 posts]
12th May 2014 - 14:43

2 Likes

Yes, Bruntwood's been completely refurbished with money from the Olympic Legacy Fund. There's a new club running taster sessions with loan bikes and ff lids. I rode there as a youth so this is great to see.

posted by drfabulous0 [340 posts]
12th May 2014 - 14:52

2 Likes

Nice one, I'll have to have a swing up there soon and have a quick blast round.

Depending on when your "Youth" was we may well have been riding Bruntwood around the same time.

posted by farrell [1451 posts]
12th May 2014 - 14:59

11 Likes

duc888 wrote:
As a very regular rider into London, this isnt the way to go, especially if this means putting kerbstones at the right hand boundary of a cycle lane.

So you are saying that the Dutch, with the highest rate of cycling and the lowest rate of cycling deaths, have somehow got it all wrong?

And that the current every-man-for-himself approach in the UK (lowest cycling rates in Europe) is working well?

duc888 wrote:
Cycling needs to co-exist on the roads and some of the riders need to stick to trains if they feel its insecure or man-up.

Man up? It is supposed to be an inclusive transport mode for all ages, not an extreme sport!

posted by GrahamSt [91 posts]
12th May 2014 - 15:19

11 Likes

duc888 wrote:
roll on the criticism .....
It's not intended as criticism but I'm happy to debate the point.

Of course Carlton Reid is right that the roads weren't built for cars (originally) but I think you'll find that these days it's pretty much all "special driving space".

Would you let an eight-year-old ride on 30/40mph roads full of cars and lorries? Or would you ride those roads towing a five-year-old on a trailerbike? (I'm afraid this is a catch-22.)

If you answer "yes" then I wouldn't let you look after my kids.
If you answer "no" you're a hypocrite....
...Unless you don't think people that age shouldn't be allowed to use bikes to get around and you're one of the "I'm alright Jack, stuff everybody else" gang, ignoring the vast majority who enjoy riding through a park, or in a sky-ride, but aren't willing to get used to cycling in fast heavy motorised traffic.

And it's not all about kids, but I think that helps illustrate the point. I don't know if you've seen the top cyclists who are behind these kind of changes? Or maybe you think they're all just "boris bike wobblers"?

posted by pmanc [117 posts]
12th May 2014 - 16:19

7 Likes

bikebot wrote:
duc888 wrote:
so the (waste of) Space For Cycling campaign has been swayed by what in fact is a minority of insecure individuals.

They aren't the minority. We are.

If commuter cycling in our cities ever rises to Dutch/Danish levels as a total percentage, you'll see how much of a minority the road.cc readers are in the bigger cycling world.

The philosophy of John Forrester has been shown to be an complete failure and completely disastrous for making cycling safer for the masses.

It is time to drop it for the utter nonsense that it is and for Forrester's 'vehicular cycling' ideology to be cast into the dustbin of history.

duc888 wrote:
Cycling needs to co-exist on the roads and some of the riders need to stick to trains if they feel its insecure or man-up.

Dumbest thing I've heard all day. The kind of bollocks that the fuckwit mayor Johnson comes out with.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [524 posts]
12th May 2014 - 19:04

8 Likes

duc888 wrote:
Cycling needs to co-exist on the roads and some of the riders need to stick to trains if they feel its insecure or man-up.

Is that how you go about encouraging your 8-year-old son, daughter, nephew or niece, or 80-year-old parent, uncle, aunt or grandparent to get on their bikes?

Way to go...

duc888 wrote:
roll on the criticism .....

You've got a very blinkered vision about what constitutes mass cycling. It's not all about you.

posted by congokid [118 posts]
12th May 2014 - 19:13

5 Likes

What we need is to get the volume of motor traffic, especially single-occupancy private motor traffic, and in a London context I include cabs in that, reduced on the streets where people live and work and get the speed of the remaining traffic reduced.

Having then made our shared space streets available in safety to vulnerable users by reduction of volume/speed of motors, and only then, should we start looking at segregated infrastructure.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [383 posts]
12th May 2014 - 19:31

9 Likes

To add to what WORKHARD has just said, perhaps if the cameras that police the congestion zone could be made to differentiate between single occupancy cars/vans etc or those with passangers and then charge extra for the first. That might make a difference, ie make people car share so therefore reduce the traffic volume.

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [591 posts]
13th May 2014 - 11:32

6 Likes

Doh forgot to add will be going on Saturday. I'm starting from tescos Slough at 09:15 for a leisurely ride up the canals to hit the Uxbridge Rd just b4 Ealing then straight run in to top of the park will be stopping on route for a "greasy spoon"

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [591 posts]
13th May 2014 - 11:39

4 Likes