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What does Sadiq Khan's mayoralty mean for London's cyclists?

Labour candidate poised to succeed Boris Johnson as capital's mayor...

Spending on cycling in London is set to increase provided that Labour’s Sadiq Khan, who is poised to succeed Boris Johnson as mayor following yesterdays poll, keeps his pre-election promise.

The MP for Tooting, who supported the London Cycling Campaign’s Sign for Cycling pledges before his closest rival Zac Goldsmith did likewise, has a 9 percentage point lead with the count almost complete.

He is expected to be announced as the city’s new mayor this evening. So what does his election mean for the capital’s cyclists?

For a start, the 45-year-old has promised to “make London a byword for cycling,” saying at last week’s hustings hosted by LCC and The Times that he wanted it to have a global reputation on a par with Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Berlin.”

He also sees cycling as having a vital role to play not only in helping the city cope with its growing population, but also in addressing the issue of air pollution, which he describes as a “moral imperative.”

Khan said: “In a city where 10,000 people each year are dying because of air pollution the environmental and health benefits are clear, it is also a matter of economic sustainability; the tube and the bus network can’t take the strain as the city continues to grow, cycling should be not just an easy but obvious choice.”

He has pledged to treble the extent of segregated infrastructure for the capital’s bike riders, and has also said he supports the proposed cycling and walking bridge across the Thames from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf.

In his manifesto, he said he would “continue the Cycle Superhighway programme, with a focus on segregated provision,” and “look at what’s working best from the existing schemes and make sure we deliver the best, safest road cycling network possible.”

He has also said he will encourage more boroughs to roll out ‘Mini Holland’ schemes to favour cycling and walking, with Waltham Forest, Kingston and Enfield all granted around £30 million in 2013 to transform their town centres.

“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,” Khan said.

Safer lorries are also on the agenda, with the mayor-in-waiting supporting direct vision cabs that afford drivers a clearer view of what is around them to minimise blind spots.

He 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.”

To help increase spend on cycling, Khan has said that he will make improvements to efficiency at Transport for London.

When Khan gave his backing to Sign for Cycling, 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.”

Khan has four years to make good on his promises, but one clear signal of his intentions would be if he appoints a successor as cycling commissioner to Andrew Gilligan, who has been credited with doing much of the work in pushing through Johnson’s Cycling Vision.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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CanAmSteve | 7 years ago

We could hope a Labour mayor will have better luck pressuring the Royal Parks to open up to cyclists. Their landscapes are not too precious to be shut off/torn up for rock concerts, festivals or Proms and they provide amply for the moneyed horse-riders, but when it comes to Everyman Cyclist, they resist any sort of sensible expansion. In fact, they have been going backwards.

arfa | 7 years ago

The good news is that the superhighways are happening and having an immediate impact. Twitter is full of images of their use, importantly both adults and youngsters and it really is opening up the city. That's where the pressure needs to come from, to grow then outwards and to ignore stupid opposition from vested interests like Canary Wharf group, the LTDA or Hampstead luvvies.

The Embankment has been transformed from a fume filled hell hole to somewhere you might like to walk and cycle in a matter of weeks. We need to stop wasting time and money consulting with those who oppose and obstruct with arguments that are clearly wrong.

severs1966 | 7 years ago

"he wanted it to have a global reputation on a par with Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Berlin"

And yet he proposes doubling the spend and tripling the number of cycle paths. At that rate, London will be Amsterdam-like in about 90 years.

Berlin, meanwhile, does not have a global reputation as a cycling city. It's actually not very good compared to every single city, town or village, everywhere in the Netherlands.

This sort of bullsh1t is how you spot that candidates are lying while electioneering. Now he is mayor, how long should we wait before deciding whether his promises were true or lies? A year? Four years?

EddyBerckx | 7 years ago

Is Andrew Gilligan stepping down? Else why doesn't Sadiq just re appoint him? Would give a bit of continuity 

bikebot replied to EddyBerckx | 7 years ago
1 like

StoopidUserName wrote:

Is Andrew Gilligan stepping down? Else why doesn't Sadiq just re appoint him? Would give a bit of continuity 

Just a reminder, Andrew Gilligan's day job is as a journalist for the Telegraph and the Evening Standard. Check his history in reporting on Ken Livingstone whilst mayor, to understand why it's unlikely that he'll continue in any role.

Basically, too many figures in the Labour party hate him, it won't happen.

HarrogateSpa | 7 years ago

The article is a re-hash of what we already know from Kahn's campaign. As Duncann says, the intentions and promises are good, now we need to see the actions before we can judge.

Dnnnnnn | 7 years ago

Not much point in speculating at the moment unless you're just looking for a way to pass the time. His actions will speak much louder than his words.

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