“Irresponsible cyclists” in the City of London are being urged to drop their speed, with the City of London Corporation, which governs the Square Mile, warning that their behaviour is threatening initiatives aimed at promoting cycling, such as the ban on vehicles other than buses and bicycles at Bank Junction.
That initiative, which began in May last year and applies between 7am and 7pm on weekdays, has resulted in the number of road traffic casualties halving at the junction, and the City of London Corporation will decide in the coming weeks whether to make it permanent.
But it warns that a small number of inconsiderate cyclists at peak times are jeopardising that and other potential safety initiatives through riding at excessive speed, and is calling on riders to adhere to “considerate cycling” on its streets.
A statement from the Corporation, quoted on trade journal BikeBiz, said: “Our message is simple – in the City, please ride at a speed where you can easily stop if a person walking happens to step out.
It said that efforts to get more people cycling, such as the changes at Bank junction, were “under threat due to the behaviour of a small minority of irresponsible cyclists. Travelling over 10mph is simply not acceptable.”
The Corporation continued: “In terms of danger the biggest issue is that some cyclists travel too fast for the crowded environment we experience at peak times, and it must be expected that pedestrians may step out at any time.
“Attitudinal studies show that the majority of road users see cyclists as the biggest cause of concern.
“We are also seeing that collisions between pedestrians and cyclists are the cause of an increasing number of injuries, which is a priority to address since this type of collision tends to lead to two injuries, as both the pedestrian and cyclist are injured.
“Studies show that the vast majority of cyclists are responsible and polite, and we call on this silent majority to help us promote considerate cycling.”
Those issues were highlighted in the Corporation’s Road Danger Reduction and Active Travel Plan 2018-23, which outlined a Vision Zero for road casualties by 2041, including through issues such as preventing cyclists being injured through ‘dooring’ by promoting the Dutch Reach technique to licensed cab drivers and private hire drivers and their passengers.
The Corporation also launched, last November, four “road etiquette principles” to coincide with the start of Road Safety Week and targeted at reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions in the Square Mile.
Aimed at all road users, the four principles urge people to:
Look around – keep your eyes open and focus on what’s around you.
Be aware – the City of London’s a busy place, so always expect the unexpected.
Be considerate – remember other road users are people too.
Less haste – take an extra second to think about what you’re doing and any potential hazards.
The “considerate cycling” campaign will be formally launched at next week’s inaugural City Cycling Festival, running from 13-15 June, and hosted at Guildhall jointly by the Corporation, the LCC and the International Cycle History Conference.
Among the events on the programme at the City Cycle Festival will be a panel discussion chaired by Alderman Alison Gowman entitled, “Why do so many people have a problem with cyclists and what can be done about it?”
The panel will include comprise cycling author and BikeBiz editor at large, Carlton Reid, cycling journalist and road.cc contributor Laura Laker, Rachel Lee from the everyday walking charity Living Streets, Ashok Sinha of LCC and Jackie O’Donovan who runs the waste disposal business O’Donovan Waste.
NB: An earlier version of this story said that the "considerate cycling" initiative was being run in conjunction with the LCC.
We have been informed by the LCC that this is incorrect and are happy to put the record straight.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.