Mayor Boris Johnson needs to adopt short term targets if he is ever going to achieve his ambition for a cycling revolution says Sustrans. The sustainable transport charity believes the Mayor’s current plans to increase cycling and reduce carbon over the next 16 years are just too long term to be of value and carry the risk that Boris, and his successors, will fail to deliver.
In its formal response to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and London Plan the charity outlines its proposals for creating a cycling culture in the capital, including the expansion of the 20mph speed limit zones.
Carl Pittam, Sustrans London Regional Director says: “There’s a lot of good policy in the draft strategies but the Mayor seems very reluctant to commit himself to actual targets. His only targets are ones that he’s inherited from his predecessor, or been forced to adopt by central government.
“What’s more relevant and worrying though is that the targets he does have are so far into the future. Ambitions for cycling growth and carbon reduction by 2025 are great but what about the short term? Interim targets (over four or five year terms) are needed to ensure that Boris and subsequent Mayors have direct responsibility to actually deliver.”
Fear of traffic is the main reason that half as many bike trips are done by women than men in London and Sustrans calls on the Mayor to do more to improve safety and help those currently missing out on the cycling revolution.
Sustrans believes more work is needed to find out who is benefitting from the improvements made so far with more targets set to increase the numbers of women and young people who are travelling by bike.
Carl Pittam continues: “There are some key policies that the Mayor could adopt to improve cyclist safety but he’s chosen not to – one is promoting the expansion of 20 mph zones in London.
"Police statistics show that introducing slower speed limits on residential roads could halve the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured. Yet there is no sign of this in the draft transport strategy.”
Another way to improve safety and encourage more new cyclists advocated by Sustrans is the provision of cycle lanes separated from traffic, particularly on busier roads. A recent survey conducted by Sustrans found that 52 per cent of women in London said that cycle lanes completely separated from traffic would encourage them to cycle more.
To view Sustrans’ full response to the draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the draft replacement London Plan visit www.sustrans.org.uk/london.