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Was focusing only on construction phase

The Mayor’s office has clarified comments made by Sadiq Khan, and confirmed that segregated cycle routes will continue to be built. During a recent appearance on the LBC radio station, the Mayor of London appeared to imply there would be greater focus on Quietways over segregated cycle routes in the future, but it seems those comments may have been misinterpreted.

Answering a question about the reallocation of road space for cycle superhighways in central London, Khan said:

“With the best of intentions, you can inadvertently cause additional problems, so the construction of a permanent segregated cycle lane in itself causes pollution. I’ve got no powers over construction. What I can do though is learn the lessons from previous constructions of segregated superhighways.

“We’ve got to make sure that we divert cyclists to quiet roads so they’re not breathing in poisonous fumes, but also it leads to less congestion and you’re absolutely right, we’ve got to learn the lessons from the mistakes of the past.”

While some construed his words as flagging an intention to move away from segregated cycle infrastructure, a spokesperson said Khan had been focusing only on the construction phase, not the cycle lane itself.

“He was saying that badly planned, badly coordinated construction can cause congestion – like all big schemes – that was his point.

“During large construction projects, we do sometimes divert cyclists, temporarily, onto quieter routes. This was done whilst Tower Bridge was closed, and is in place whilst Tooley Street is closed in one direction due to construction at London Bridge Station.”

On Quietways, the spokesperson said: “What Sadiq meant was that – we should still encourage cyclists to use quiet roads, so there are options for people not comfortable cycling on a polluted main road, where a segregated cycle lane doesn’t yet exist.

“We are making quiet roads more attractive for cycling, through our existing Quietways and mini-Hollands programmes, including in places where segregated cycle lanes don’t currently exist. A mixture of new, safe cycle routes both on main roads and quieter roads is required to create a comprehensive cycling network. That’s why we are spending record amounts to build cycle superhighway routes, on main roads, segregating cyclists from traffic, in addition to developing other schemes.”

A London Cycling Campaign spokesperson commented: “We’re glad the Mayor has clarified his interview on LBC and remains committed to improving cycling in London at a rapid pace by introducing more main protected cycle tracks on main roads, as well as routes on quiet streets too. We look forward to him fulfilling his pledge to the public to triple the mileage of protected space on main roads in his Mayoral term.”

Additional reporting by Laura Laker.

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6 comments

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rct [70 posts] 11 months ago
9 likes

Quietways are fine if you have all day to amble around.  Unfortunately, I want to commute to work in a reasonable time, this means using the main roads in London as they are often the most direct route. To increase cycling the Mayor needs to reallocate more road space away from private cars and taxis.

Avatar
OldRidgeback [2826 posts] 11 months ago
2 likes
rct wrote:

Quietways are fine if you have all day to amble around.  Unfortunately, I want to commute to work in a reasonable time, this means using the main roads in London as they are often the most direct route. To increase cycling the Mayor needs to reallocate more road space away from private cars and taxis.

 

I have to disagree with you. When I commuted a 16km distance across rush hour London in the morning and then back again, I quickly found that the quiet ways were quicker. Using them meant avoiding the many sets of traffic lights at major junctions, which were what led to the delays.

Avatar
Username [228 posts] 11 months ago
4 likes

You can tell he knows nothing of cycling.

 

Quietways are not okay. Not only are they taking people on bikes away from the shops and facilities they want to cycle to but in my experience I get more hassle from drivers on them than on main roads.

We've modified our route to school because of this. Previously we went out of our way to take a quiet residential road, a typical London road: terraced housing, one-way, continuously parked cars on both sides and only sufficient space for one vehicle down the middle. I've had school-run mums blaring their horns at us for being in "their way". Very stressful on a seven year old when there is nowhere to pull in.

Now we use the main road and despite the heavier traffic, we get less abuse.

Avatar
emishi55 [172 posts] 11 months ago
1 like
Username wrote:

Quietways are not okay. Not only are they taking people on bikes away from the shops and facilities they want to cycle to but in my experience I get more hassle from drivers on them than on main roads.

We've modified our route to school because of this. Previously we went out of our way to take a quiet residential road, a typical London road: terraced housing, one-way, continuously parked cars on both sides and only sufficient space for one vehicle down the middle. I've had school-run mums blaring their horns at us for being in "their way". Very stressful on a seven year old when there is nowhere to pull in.

Now we use the main road and despite the heavier traffic, we get less abuse.

 

There must be action now to define a QuietWay as one where there is NO through-traffic.

This is how the Dutch achieved mas/all-inclusive cycling - not by placing cycle lanes everywhere (though these exist across the nation) - this first step is easy, quick to mplement AND CHEAP...

one strategically placed bollard allows a transformtion of a residential / back street area into something resembling a half-civilised environment.

Rat-running through-traffic must be tackled at a higher level of authority to achieve the essential switch to cycling. The Dutch are currently 40 years ahead of the UK.

There must now be policy and action. The blowhard ranks of NIMBIES, numpties, taxis and a variety of vehicular vermin and cycle-haters have been allowed too much time to mobilise while Sadiq Khan has so far shown little in the way of understanding of what is required to achieve what should have been well underway by now.  

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Duncann [1158 posts] 11 months ago
0 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:
rct wrote:

Quietways are fine if you have all day to amble around.  Unfortunately, I want to commute to work in a reasonable time, this means using the main roads in London as they are often the most direct route. To increase cycling the Mayor needs to reallocate more road space away from private cars and taxis.

I have to disagree with you. When I commuted a 16km distance across rush hour London in the morning and then back again, I quickly found that the quiet ways were quicker. Using them meant avoiding the many sets of traffic lights at major junctions, which were what led to the delays.

If you mean Quietway 1 compared to, say, the Blackfriars superhighway I'd agree. The riverside superhighway is different again though.

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severs1966 [415 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

When he says:

“We’ve got to make sure that we divert cyclists... we’ve got to learn the lessons from the mistakes of the past.”

he means:

“Some people who vote whinge about bikes, so I have decided to break all my promises and stop building useful infrastructure"

Trouble is, he already made this decision before he was elected, which is why his first actions were to cancel existing plans to build stuff.

Politicians lie to get elected. Don't expect them to do anything for bike riders if they can get elected without doing.

That isn't just mayoral or local elections, or candidates from Khan's party. It is ALL politicians.