David Lammy, one of several prospective Labour candidates for the 2016 London mayoral election, has told the London Evening Standard that he now only cycles at weekends because he doesn’t feel safe during rush hour.
Lammy says he has seen incidents involving cyclists when out on the roads and it has dissuaded him from riding at peak times.
“I’ve seen cyclists clipped and come off their bikes and with the responsibility of three children it’s not something I feel able to do. If I was single and had no responsibilities I’d probably take my life into my own hands. On that basis I just don’t feel safe enough cycling during rush hour.”
Lammy has set out a series of cycling safety measures in the wake of London's six cycling fatalities this year.
He would like to appoint a cycling representative to the Transport for London board and increase the city's cycling budget. He also believes that TfL should look to move towards a Dutch style roads prioritisation system whereby pedestrians come first, then cyclists, then drivers.
Other prospective Labour candidates for the London mayoral election include Diane Abbott, Tessa Jowell and Christian Wolmar. Of these, Wolmar says that he cycles to all the meetings and speaking engagements for the campaign “with the occasional help of the odd bus or train”.
In January, Wolmar launched his Vision Zero policy paper in which he calls for “a radical new approach” to the issue of road safety in London. The three key features of his proposals are: a 20mph zone across the capital; a freight strategy to reduce the number of lorries on London’s streets; and an accident investigation body for road deaths.