Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Update on the Battle for Blackfriars

Today Conservative London Assembly Members walked out of the chamber, thus making it impossible for the Assembly to debate Jenny Jones's (Green Party) motion calling on TfL to retain the 20mph limit on Blackfriars Bridge. Well, no surprise on this from Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad, who I was well aware cared nothing for my safety on a bike, but it puts all the others into the same boat, including Andrew Boff, who had some record of being relatively pro-cycling. Now we know what all the Conservative Assembly members think about pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Incidentally, on BBC Radio London this morning there was a discussion of the need for 20mph not only at Blackfriars, but London-wide. How out-of-touch these Assembly Members are.

But, see CycleofFutility's view of where the campaign should go now. He has it bang-on. As I have said before, I don't believe 20mph is the real transformative demand we need to make to bring about a genuine cycling revolution in London and the UK. It is a pragmatic demand designed to sound consensual and mainstream. But it wouldn't make that much difference to cycling conditions in the crowded centre of London and similar places, particularly as there is no politically-likely prospect ever of thorough enforcement. Dr Clare Gerada, an experienced, competent cyclist still got badly injured on the Blackfriars north junction racetrack with 20mph currently the limit on the bridge. No. The real transformative demand is for uninterruptible, high-capacity space for cycling as pioneered in The Netherlands. This removes driver/cyclist conflict by design, not by wishful faith in considerate or law-abiding behaviourIt is time for cyclists to start demanding what cycling really needs.

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