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Assembly Members voted to support cycling infrastructure, while a Conservative amendment seeking "geniune local support" for cycling infrastructure was voted down...

The London Assembly has urged the capital’s next mayor to keep building protected cycling infrastructure to help get more Londoners on bikes.

Darren Johnson AM proposed the  motion, passed 13 votes to nine, which urges the next mayor to continue the cycle superhighways programme and three Mini-Holland projects after Boris Johnson leaves the post in May.

Meanwhile Assembly Members voted against a Conservative amendment, which Johnson said could give residents power of veto over cycle schemes. During a debate on the motion Enfield Conservatives came under criticism for a lack of political leadership on the Enfield Mini Holland scheme.

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Darren Johnson AM (Green) said: “We are finally seeing some world class sections of cycle lane opening in central London and that is very welcome. But the tough work has only just started. The next Mayor must capitalise on the consensus that the London Assembly and Mayor have worked hard to achieve over the past eight years on the clear need for a network of safe, direct superhighways radiating out from the city centre to the suburbs.”

Valerie Shawcross CBE AM, who seconded the motion said: "With progress now being made, we cannot afford to lose the momentum it has taken us so long to build up. With the number of cyclists likely to continue to grow in the coming years, the next Mayor, no matter what their political colour, needs to embrace, enhance and ingrain London’s cycling revolution."

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During the debate Joanne McCartney AM  (Labour) criticised Conservatives in Enfield for failing to show political leadership over the Mini Holland project.

She said: “When the [Mini Holland] bids were put in the local councillors, both Labour and Conservatives, signed the bid document for this.

“It was only when opposition started coming in to aspects of the scheme that they backed away and their answer now is not to work constructively, their answer is to give all the money back to TfL (Transport for London). Well I think that’s the wrong answer, I think they should be working to achieve consensus.”

“I don’t want to go back to the situation we were in under the Conservative leadership of Enfield where they kept sending money back to TfL that was due for cycling. Enfield was consistently awarded cycling money year on year on year and every year they sent a lot of it back. They’re proposing that again, I don’t think that’s acceptable either.”  

Darren Johnson said an amendment to the bill, proposed by Andrew Boff AM (Conservative), which was voted against 13 to nine, would effectively give local residents power of veto over cycle schemes in a way not possible with other transport projects with “strategic importance for the whole of London”.

MP claims there is ‘overwhelming opposition’ to Enfield's Mini Holland

Andrew Boff, AM (Conservative), said it was the lack of consultation and consensus building he objected to, not the cycling infrastructure itself, and said Transport for London is “making enemies” with its cycling programme.

He said: “So many people have come to us and complained about the consultation that we will not be able to support the motion as it is, unless there is an a mention of the improvements that need to take place regarding consultation. And I do regret that. I’m a cyclist, that’s the main mode of transport I use.”

He said: “We don’t design London’s roads with the inspiration of Formula One so why do we design Cycle Superhighways with the inspiration of the Tour de France?

“In many ways they’re seen as a concession to the testosterone-driven, Lycra clad cyclist.”

Conservative London Assembly Members were criticised for walking out of two road safety debates in 2011, preventing votes from being cast.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, said cycling needs to be moved out of what she called the “bus division” within TfL, Surface Transport, and give it its own department, and said in 40 years London could be like Copenhagen.

She said: “In the 1970s Copenhagen decided to invest serious money in cycling year after year after year to make cycling the norm for everyone, and now, 40 years later they are world leaders in this field and I think London can become exactly the same in the decades to come if we continue that investment going forward.”

The full text of the motion is:

This Assembly welcomes the construction of sections of high quality cycle superhighway in central London. We also welcome the Mayor’s recent comments urging his successor to complete the three Mini Hollands currently in train.

Encouraging more journeys to be made by bicycle could help London’s transport network to cope with the pressures of a growing population. It could also help improve the health and wellbeing of Londoners and go some way to cleaning up our polluted air.

We therefore call on the Mayor to work with the Assembly to ensure his successor builds on the consensus on cycling programmes that has been achieved within the Assembly in recent years, with a view to continuing these programmes in his or her Mayoralty.

UPDATE:

The amendment was to replace the word 'builds' in the final paragraph with: seeks genuine public support for Mini Hollands, Cycle Superhighways and Quietways so that he is able to build

12 comments

Avatar
Username [207 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
Quote:

so why do we design Cycle Superhighways with the inspiration of the Tour de France?

 

Goes to show you how little they understand their brief.

Avatar
Duncann [1018 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
Username wrote:
Quote:

so why do we design Cycle Superhighways with the inspiration of the Tour de France?

Goes to show you how little they understand their brief.

I was going to highlight that too: it's complete and depressing nonsense.

Avatar
jasecd [443 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Duncann wrote:
Username wrote:
Quote:

so why do we design Cycle Superhighways with the inspiration of the Tour de France?

Goes to show you how little they understand their brief.

I was going to highlight that too: it's complete and depressing nonsense.

 

 

It's absolute  crap as is the quote: “In many ways they’re seen as a concession to the testosterone-driven, Lycra clad cyclist.” 

I'm often Lycra clad and thanks to genetics I am, at least partially, driven by testosterone. Does this mean I'm not a member of society or deserve any protection from motorised traffic? What have my clothes got to do with it? Or my gender?

 

 

Avatar
AndrewBoff [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

"while a Conservative motion giving residents veto power over cycle lanes was voted against "

What part of this amendment (in bold) suggests a veto?

"This Assembly welcomes the construction of sections of high quality cycle superhighway in central London. We also welcome the Mayor’s recent comments urging his successor to complete the three Mini Hollands currently in train.
Encouraging more journeys to be made by bicycle could help London’s transport network to cope with the pressures of a growing population. It could also help improve the health and wellbeing of Londoners and go some way to cleaning up our polluted air.

We therefore call on the Mayor to work with the Assembly to ensure his successor  builds seeks genuine public support for Mini Hollands, Cycle Superhighways and Quietways so that he is able to build on the consensus on cycling programmes that has been achieved within the Assembly in recent years"

 

Avatar
redhanded [26 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

But what is the point of the amendment?

All the types of scheme mentioned need to go to consultation, so seeking support, is part of the process.

And which of the types of schemes mentioned did not have genuine public support?  The EW and NS scheme consultation was 84% in favour.

Avatar
bikebot [2120 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Link below to my brief twitter conversation with Andrew Boff, in which I tried to get to the bottom of what is "genuine support" as an alternative to the existing majority support from a public consultation.  As far as I could pin it down, it's giving greater consideration to any and all alternatives local residents may produce.

https://twitter.com/bicyclebot/status/699202554211790849

I'm ignoring the showboating about Tour de France and lycra.  I find the wording of the amendment far more interesting.

Avatar
P3t3 [397 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
AndrewBoff wrote:

"while a Conservative motion giving residents veto power over cycle lanes was voted against "

What part of this amendment (in bold) suggests a veto?

We therefore call on the Mayor to work with the Assembly to ensure his successor  builds seeks genuine public support for Mini Hollands, Cycle Superhighways and Quietways so that he is able to build on the consensus on cycling programmes that has been achieved within the Assembly in recent years"

 

Oh come off it! This is an absolutely classic filibuster!

I hope you are doing a good job of explaining the reasoning behind building the cycling infrastructure to those that are complaining, its your job to lead, not to run scared when you get some complaints.  Something has got to happen - you've got to prove it works by doing it somewhere otherwise cycling as a mode of transport will never happen in this country.  

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AndrewBoff [2 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Filibusters aren't possible on the London Assembly as we have timed speeches.  My job is to hold the Mayor of London to account and raise issues of interest to Londoners. I was doing both of these things in proposing the amendment. 

"Something has got to happen" -  Agreed... but we should bring people with us..not ignore their sensible suggestions because "TfL knows best".

 

 

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P3t3 [397 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I meant that the implications of the ammendment would be that the cycling programme would be delayed or watered down.  It was probably an incorrect use of the word "filibuster".  

I agree you should be taking people with you.  But the sentiment of the ammendment could be read in many ways, call me cynical but I can very easily read it as a delaying tactic, although I appreciate that you are saying otherwise.  

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redhanded [26 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Also, the consultations are just that, consultations, not referendums (referenda ?)

A lot of the "anti" comments on consultation can be from fruitloops who say the cycle scheme will lead to terrorist attacks or is dangerous because of unexploded bombs (actual comments about the Kingston scheme...) or people who simply don't want cycle schemes but offer no constructive alternatives.

The point is that any scheme that actually changes something will inevitably attract criticism from people who simply don't want any change.   You can't bring all of the population along with you for schemes that actually change things and if a scheme doesn't change anything, then it is pointless anyway.

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bikebot [2120 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I think the basic question is whether those who proposed the amendment want to hold cycling infrastructure to a different public consultation standard to other transport projects.

I've experienced a share of the vocal opposition that cycling projects often encounter, and it's rarely reasoned or reasonable.  The current opposition to the proposed Crossrail 2 railway station on the Kings Rd in Chelsea is an interesting parallel.

A very vocal group of locals, with a sprinkling of celebrities is strongly opposing the project, though it looks as though the majority of business and residents strongly support it. As I've found before with cycling, the group has little interest in negotiation, they simply want it to go away. Naturally, the level of hyperbole in describing their reasons for opposing it, has become somewhat dramatic.

So the question is, if they are a minority  should they be able to delay the project or even block it against the wishes of the majority? How is that different to what we want for consultations on cycling infrastructure?

 

 

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arfa [848 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Consultation and engagement is a fine part of the democratic process we are fortunate to have in place in this country. Consultation does not however extended to validating fatuous objections as part of the process. For example, the suggestion that our infrastructure is designed for "tour de france" style cycling betrays both an ignorance of the Tour de France and of utility cycling. It's the sort of hyperbole that the ignorant have deployed to obstruct change throughout time. This sort of stupidity should be politely set aside once and not returned to again pointing the objectors in the direction of addressing their uniformed prejudices before attempting to constructively engage with the consultation process. It really isn't difficult as Tfl themselves have vast amounts of data on the real dangers on our roads and it isn't cyclists.