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Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner tells London Assembly Transport Committee discussion on cycling superhighways

Andrew Gilligan wants to a see a change in London’s cycling culture with more women and more older people out on their bikes. He feels that this will make the roads calmer and believes that the cycling superhighway proposals will help deliver this

Gilligan, the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, was speaking to the London Assembly Transport Committee regarding plans to improve the north-south and east-west cycle superhighways with the committee keen to understand the impact on pedestrians, motorists and businesses.

Gilligan believes that the plans for improved infrastructure will encourage a more diverse range of people to cycle. He describes cycling as being a ‘disproportionately young and male’ activity in the capital and believes that this is down to the conditions.

“What I want to see from these changes, and I think we will see, is far more women doing it, far more older people doing it.

“What that will do is just generally reduce the testosterone level, calm things down a bit, change the culture of cycling a bit more towards what we see in continental cities...people of all ages, riding along quite slowly on quite clunky bikes in their ordinary clothes.”

Gilligan also described suggestions that cyclists should have to register before cycling in London as ‘disproportionate’, pointing out that there were nine pedestrians seriously injured by cyclists in 2011 compared to more than 1,700 injured by cars.

The Cycle Superhighway proposals also received support this week from a group of architects. Led by Sustrans, Richard Rogers, Patrik Schumacher, Terry Farrell and others have written to the mayor to express their ‘strong support’.

“The schemes will enable far more people to choose to cycle to work, to the shops or to the capital’s renowned cultural centres, and as growing numbers take to their bikes, it is vital to provide them with truly safe and direct passage through the capital.

“But these visionary schemes will bring benefits to all Londoners. We welcome the improvements to help those on foot, in making the routes more pleasant places to walk with streets easier to cross and greater separation from traffic.

“Through these projects, London can begin to become a city fit for the future – and cycling an everyday way for Londoners to travel.”

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