Boris Johnson's two-day cycling Olympic legacy event does not go far enough in securing a cycle friendly London, says the London Cycling Campaign.
The LCC have urged Boris to stick to the promises he made when he signed up to the Love London, Go Dutch campaign, as part of his promises to the city when he stood as Mayor.
We reported earlier this week on plans for a festival of cycling, which is expected to attract 200,000 visitors to London on the weekend beginning Saturday 3 August 2013, and will include a family fun ride, a 100-mile road ride incorporating an elite race that takes in much of the Olympic road race route, and a criterium in the heart of the city.
The LCC sad: "The London Cycling Campaign welcomes these events, but shares the disappointment of many Londoners that an announcement supposedly offering an ‘Olympic legacy’ for cyclists doesn’t include any new infrastructure to make London’s streets more safe and inviting for cycling.
"In April 2012, Boris Johnson signed up to LCC’s Love London, Go Dutch campaign, yet nearly 100 days into his second mayoralty there are few signs yet that he’s putting into practice the commitments he made to the electorate a week before the election.
"LCC sees a place for mass cycling events – indeed, our trustee David Love is credited with coming up with the idea for the original traffic-free Freewheel in 2007 – but their effect on increasing levels of cycling is likely to be very marginal, and their influence on cyclist safety is zero.
"And adding a cycling sportive to the mix will no doubt provide tremendous entertainment for many Londoners of a sporty disposition, but it won’t do anything to address the needs of Londoners who use cycling in a much more practical way - for TRANsport."
Sustrans have also joined the voices complaining that the festival is not enough.
German Dector-Vega, Sustrans London Director, insisted however that the focus should not just be on one weekend-long event, saying: “It’s great that the Mayor wants to capitalise on the recent boom in the popularity of cycling, and this Cycling Festival will no doubt maintain cycling as a high profile sport.
“A real cycling legacy from the Games will give more people to chance to use their bike as a regular form of transport. We hope the Mayor will be keen to continue to develop the London Greenway’s network, and also make cycling more accessible to young people.
“Over the course of the Games over 1000 children have taken part in Olympic taster sessions organised by Sustrans, we’d love to see every child in London have a chance to get on a bike and learn to cycle safely.”
Twitter users also had their say.
Carlton Reid wrote: “Next year’s RideLondon sounds great but a 2-day festival is a jolly not an Olympic legacy.” @carltonreid, Twitter
Mark Bikes London said: "“While ‘RideLondon’ is a welcome addition to the scene, of course, the words ‘wasted opportunity’ are ringing pretty loudly in my ears." @marksbikeslondon, Twitter
And on LCC's Facebook page, Mark Preval wrote: “I dont want a summer of cycling: I want Government to CHANGE things, laws that protect cyclists, better infrastructure, better education, more road safety initiatives, HGV safety improvements, better interaction of ALL road users.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.