British Cycling and the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) have written a joint letter to Mayor of London Boris Johnson, re-elected last week for a second four-year term, which serves as a gentle reminder of his commitment last month to LCC’s Love London Go Dutch campaign, with both organisations offering support and assistance in the implementation of that and other cycling-related issues.
Mr Johnson had pledged his support to the three main demands of the Love London Go Dutch campaign, which LCC had lobbied all mayoral candidates to endorse, on the eve of The Big Ride which the organisation staged on the Saturday before the election in support of its initiative.
However, the following Monday, just three days before the election, the mayor alienated many members of London’s cycling community, which had already taken him to task for his policy of prioritising the smoothing of traffic flow, when he voiced stereotypical views of cyclists at the end of the hustings organised by The Times newspaper and Sustrans.
While the campaign group Londoners On Bikes recommended that the capital’s cyclists vote for the Green Party’s Jenny Jones as their first preference, with Mr Johnson’s predecessor as mayor, Labour’s Ken Livingstone, second, the fact is that the Conservative politician did secure re-election.
As a result, he remains in charge of transport policy in the city, chairing Transport for London and appointing its board, and the reality of the situation is that cycle campaigners will have to work alongside him if the ‘cycling revolution’ that Mr Johnson has promised, but so far failed to achieve, is to be delivered.
It’s within that context that the contents of the letter sent to Mr Johnson by British Cycling and the LCC need to be viewed – here is the full text:
"Congratulations on your victory in the London Mayoral election - one in which cycling was a major issue as never before. We would like to wish you the very best in meeting the many challenges London faces over the next four years.
"Please allow us to also reiterate our immense appreciation for your public pre-election commitments to appoint a cycling commissioner, put a cycling representative on the London Roads Task Force, and meet the three key tests of LCC’s Love London, Go Dutch campaign. We also look forward to working with your Sentencing Unit to assist you in making representations to the Ministry of Justice to strengthen the criminal justice procedures and sentencing guidelines that deal with cyclist deaths and serious injuries.
"We stand ready to help in the delivery of these very important commitments and in particular would greatly welcome a meeting with you to discuss their implementation. We do hope you will be able to look positively on this request given your undoubtedly hectic schedule as you begin the next mayoralty."
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.