Poll finds 8/10 London cyclists support Mayor's hire scheme

Bring on the bike hire scheme, but lay off the fines say Londoners

by Tom Henry   January 29, 2010  

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A poll on one of road.cc's favourite blogs has turned up some interesting results for cyclists in London.

Andreas Kambanis, of londoncyclistblog, decided to ask his readers what they thought of a cycle hire scheme for the capital, harsher fines for errant cyclists and whether cyclists and drivers should share the road.

A good 8/10 cyclists were supported the Cycle Hire Scheme, despite worries over theft and the huge cost of the project. “I was quite surprised at the level of support for the scheme,” Andreas told us, “considering the audience for my blog and the fact that they might not necessarily want thousands of inexperienced cyclists all over London. But it's good to see that the general population seems to be in favour of it.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, there was less enthusiasm for harsher fines for cyclists. Almost 150 cast their votes on this, with 74 per cent deciding it wasn't the way to go about promoting safer cycling. However, Andreas was surprised that a quarter agreed with the move.

“A fair number of people seem to support the idea that harsher fines will discourage the red-light jumpers who are seen to give all cyclists a bad name,” Andreas commented. “But perhaps the police should be concentrating on other things than jumping red lights and cycling on pavements. Plus, as several people said, they're difficult laws to enforce.”

The arguments for sharing the road, or creating many more separate cycle lanes, were evenly split. Just under 100 voted, with 56 per cent agreeing that sharing the road is the best option.

There was much uncertainty around the kind of benefits this brings,” said Andreas. “Sharing the road makes drivers look out for cyclists and not take them for granted. There again, the poll supported separate cycle paths when they are well maintained and genuinely useful.

“The whole thing was an interesting and enjoyable exercise and I think we'll try to have a poll on the blog once a month. Someone has already suggested the topic of the next one – are fixed-gear bikes just a fashion item?!”