Mayor Boris announces £116m worth of spending plans for cycling in London

Money to go to cutting cycle casualties and bike crime plus a summer of cycle boosting events

by Tony Farrelly   May 13, 2010  

Commuter cyclist

Cycling has grown by 14 per cent in London since Boris Johnson became Mayor, but as we reported yesterday Boris wants more people on bikes and today he unveiled his plans for just how he is going to do that over the coming year. The Mayor intends spending £116m on cycling in the capital in the coming year with an emphasis on increasing safety, cutting bike crime, and as we reported yesterday boosting cycling in the outer London Boroughs.

The emphasis on boosting cycle safety will focus on reducing the number of cycle casualties on London's roads in particular those caused by collisions involving HGVs, Increasing the levels of cycle parking provision and doing more to tackle cycle theft – tow things that go hand in hand are also high on the list of the Mayor's spending priorities. On the issue of crime it will be interesting to see if the London Cycling Campaign's calls for a dedicated cycle theft police squad will bear fruit. There will be fun too with a big schedule of cycling events including the return of the Mayor's Skyride.

Announcing his latest round of cycling intitiatives and spending plans at the Look Mum No Hands Cycling Cafe this morning, Mayor Johnson said:

“I am determined to transform London into a city that cycles and where hundreds of thousands enjoy the elixir of using two wheels to get around the capital. Our cycling revolution is rapidly gathering pace, but there’s still huge potential to increase the number of journeys that Londoners make by bike and today we’re setting out exactly how we’re going to do that.

“With the launch this summer of the London Cycle Hire scheme, Cycle Superhighways and a fit-to-burst schedule of cycling events, there has never been a better time to give pedal power a punt. I urge everyone to sign up and take part in this June’s London Cycle Challenge.”

July will be a big month for Boris and cycling in London, when both of his flagship cycling initiatives go live. On the 19th the first two of his much touted Cycle Superhighways will officially open, running from Merton to the City, and Barking to Tower Gateway; and then on the 31st the London Cycle Hire Scheme will go live.

Before that though Londoners will again get the chance to take part in the London Cycle Challenge, in which companies and their employees across the capital compete to log their cycle mileage, as we reported earlier this week similar schemes are also running in Edinburgh and Oxford, London hosted its first Cycle Challenge last year.

For Londoners who fancy something a little less competitive the Mayor also announced a schedule of hundred of free led rides throughout the capital during the summer, no mention of whether this will include the resurrection of last year's Bike Tubes, but we'll keep you posted on that. To find out more about led rides and to access free maps and other useful information go to the cycling section of the TfL website.

Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport advisor, said: “There is huge potential to increase the popularity of cycling in the capital and that is why City Hall, our partner organisations and many others are working incredibly hard on plans that we hope will make London the biggest and best cycling city in the world. It’s an ambitious target, but the wheels are turning, and the cycling revolution is under way.”

David Brown, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “Cycling offers the ultimate cheap, fast and flexible way to get around London while improving your health at the same time.  The Cycle Hire scheme and Cycle Superhighways arrive in the Capital in July, but in the meantime there’s plenty for cyclists of all ages and abilities to enjoy.”

The issue of cycle safety has proved a tricky one for the mayor, he faced strong criticism for his decision to close the Metropolitan Police's Commercial Vehicle Education Unit, which was specifically tasked with cutting the number of cyclist/HGV incidents. Mr Johnson was effectively forced to reverse that decision earlier this year in response to a terrible run of HGV cycling casualties, including one on the day he announced his new Cycle Safety Plan, coupled with pressure from both cycling and road haulage organisations.

The Mayor also got first hand experience of the HGV problem when he, and his transport adviser Kulveer Ranger, and the then Transport Minister Lord Adonis were involved in near miss with a skip lorry when out scouting a prospective cycle superhighway route on their bikes last spring. 

In all the Mayor set out 10 priorities for cycling are:

  • Cycling recognised as a major transport mode right across the Capital, from central London to the outer boroughs
  • Streets and spaces where everyone respects each other's right to use the road, where they stick to the rules of the road, and where everyone recognises their duty of care to other road users
  • A reduction in cycling casualties, with a particular focus on reducing the risk of collisions between cyclists and HGVs
  • An increase in secure cycle-parking on streets, in workplaces, and at stations and schools
  • Cycle theft tackled through dedicated police attention so that people can be confident that they'll find their bike where they locked it
  • Cycling promoted as an enjoyable, everyday, healthy activity
  • Cycling embedded into the way our city is planned and run
  • Investment in cycling maximised - from both the private and public sectors
  • Key partners working together to deliver cycling initiatives
  • New routes and opportunities for commuting, leisure and local cycling trips

16 organisations across the capital have also agreed to sign up to the Mayor’s ten priorities for cycling in the capital. They include the Freight Transport Association, the Metropolitan Police, NHS London and the London Cycling campaign. The list in full is:

London Councils
Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM)
Sustrans
NLA - the centre for London's built environment
British Cycling
London First
Bicycle Association
Cycling England
Metropolitan Police Service
London Cycling Campaign
City of London Police
NHS London
Royal Parks
Freight Transport Association
CTC
Princes Foundation for the Built Environment

You can find out more about the plans for London's cycling revolution here www.tfl.gov.uk/cyclingrevolution

6 user comments

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Good for Boris - lets hope the ConDem gov pick up on this and get other cities moving faster in this direction.

Ride For Precious Lives - Annual Cornwall to Bristol charity ride.

posted by graphite [58 posts]
13th May 2010 - 11:26

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erm ... he could extend the congestion charging zone ... just a thought.

Mike
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posted by Mike McBeth [73 posts]
13th May 2010 - 11:37

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it's all fine and well to talk about these changes, but how about actually policing cars who park in cycle lanes, act aggressively and generally put our lives at risk. And I agree with Mike, extend the congestion charging zone.

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posted by mr-andrew [295 posts]
13th May 2010 - 13:49

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£116m will buy a hell of a lot of blue paint. I wonder who the supplier is, and what their political connections are. Seriously, cyclists don't need 116 million pounds. That's just 116 million more reasons for ignorant drivers to shout out the window of their cars about cyclists not belonging on the rest of the road network. What is required is: a ban on HGVs in rush hour (zero cost to tax payers), legislation to require employers to spend as much on cycling facilities as they do on car parking and season ticket loans (zero cost to tax payers), and expansion of congestions charging zone and increase in the price (some initial admin costs hopefully more than offset by increase revenue.)

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
13th May 2010 - 15:23

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"the elixir of using two wheels to get around"

Love it B)

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posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
13th May 2010 - 15:25

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OK, so cycling has increased by 14% since Boris became mayor, but come on, the massive fuel price hikes, congestion charges, and of course the bike to work scheme, have all played a part and none are contributable to Boris.

antonio

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posted by antonio [949 posts]
14th May 2010 - 9:57

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