Sadiq Khan, the Labour Party’s candidate for Mayor of London, has today pledge to triple cycling infrastructure in the capital, as well as giving each of London’s 32 boroughs the chance of its own Mini Holland and reducing numbers of lethal HGVs on the roads.
By agreeing to the London Cycling Campaign’s Sign for Cycling three point agenda, Khan become the first of the front runners to commit to do so, should he be elected in the May 5 Mayoral elections.
Khan says he is “proud” to support the campaign, after candidates of the Green and Lib Dem parties signed up to the LCC campaign in recent weeks. Last week the Green Party’s Mayoral hopeful, Sian Berry, committed she would spend £1.5bn on cycling over her first term, if elected.
In a statement, Khan said: “I’m proud to support LCC’s Sign for Cycling campaign, and will work towards achieving the campaign’s goals as part of my plans to make London a byword for cycling.
“In my Manifesto for all Londoners, I set out my intention to continue the Cycle Superhighway programme, with a focus on segregated provision. I will keep us on course to triple the extent of current provision and I’ll look at what’s working best from the existing schemes and make sure we deliver the best, safest road cycling network possible.”
He also said he will continue work, started during Boris Johnson’s tenure as Mayor, to improve town centres in outer London boroughs - dubbed “Mini Holland” schemes for their focus on making walking and cycling more attractive. Waltham Forest, Kingston and Enfield all received around £30m for their Mini Holland schemes after submitting winning bids to City Hall in 2013.
Khan said: “I’ll complete the roll out of the current town-centre cycling improvement plans, and begin a new round of schemes. I am committed to ensuring that every London borough that wishes to do so, and can produce a viable, high quality plan, has a fair opportunity to benefit from a Mini-Holland style scheme.”
HGVs are disproportionately responsible for cyclist deaths in the capital and the LCC has long campaigned for safer, direct vision lorries, where drivers’ cabs are moved down to street level with glass doors to design out the lethal blind spot which plays a key role in cyclist-lorry fatalities.
Khan said: “I will promote safer, cleaner lorries. I will work with the boroughs and using City Hall procurement to set new safety standards, work to make sure City Hall and TfL contracts specify ‘direct-vision’ lorries, and use planning and other powers available to me, so that the safest lorry types become the norm on London’s streets as soon as possible.
He said: “Making cycling a safer, and easier choice for Londoners to take is central to my vision of the greener, more modern, more affordable transport network that London needs. I look forward to working with cyclists, and all road users across London, to deliver it.”
LCC Chief Executive, Ashok Sinha, said: “Mr Khan’s pledges are just the sort of continuation of momentum from the present Mayor’s historic cycling programme that London needs. The London Cycling Campaign will make sure Mr Khan is held to properly to account for these promises, if elected, as well as assist him in the implementation.”
Sadiq Khan joins Caroline Pidgeon (LibDem), Sian Berry (Green) and Sophie Walker (Women’s Equality Party) in giving his commitment to LCC’s three-point Sign for Cycling agenda.
Last week Berry (Green) pledged to spend 15 per cent of London's transport budget on cycling and walking over her first term, if elected - amounting to £1.5bn over four years. This, she said would be paid for by cancelling road building projects including the Silvertown Tunnel, as well as introducing smart congestion charging, a "more effective Low EmissionsZone" and a workplace parking levy.