25 AUGUST 2010
policy document - cycling
CONTEXT When I had my car and my tube pass I never thought in a million years that I would swap them for my bike. I’m glad I did: I am healthier, wealthier and happier as result. Cycling offers Londoners the chance to travel in a way that saves them money, improves their health and wellbeing and helps the environment. But I am still an exception; only 1% of journeys in London are currently taken by bike. I want to inspire more Londoners to cycle as a means of sport, recreation and sustainable transport for the 21st century. To achieve this, there are still many barriers to overcome to ensure that cycling really is a realistic option for all Londoners. This short policy document complements the Transport Policy I have already published, providing more detail about how I would like to develop Transport for London’s (TfL) approach to cycling as Mayor. By radically rethinking cycling routes and integrating cycling into the public transport infrastructure, improving and extending the Cycle Hire scheme, and improving security and safety on our roads I’m confident we can go a long way to achieving the ambitious target set out by the London Cycling Campaign for 20% of all journeys in London to be undertaken by cycling.
As Mayor, I will: • Develop a joint strategy for cycling across London with the boroughs, introducing a cyclists ‘tube’ map to help cyclists navigate their way around the city • Look to extend the two existing ‘Cycle Highways’ and commission a feasibility study to develop new routes • Expand the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme to outer London boroughs and integrate it into the Oyster Card • Work to secure discounts for cycle helmets for Cycle Hire scheme users • Fight to open up cycle lanes in all of London’s parks to cyclists • Quadruple the number of cycle parking spaces across London, with a particular focus on major shopping and transport hubs • Work with leisure centres and gymnasiums to look at the possibility of opening up showering facilities for commuters • Work with retailers and the police to create a London Bicycle Register, with registration at point of sale, to help tackle theft and help cyclists recover their lost bikes • Work with local authorities to get safer cycling training delivered in every secondary school across London • Work with City Hall contractors to reduce the number of lorries on our streets during peak hours and ensure drivers receive training about the risks posed to cyclists • Crack down on cyclists causing hazards to pedestrians, like cycling on pavements.
RADICALLY RE-THINKING CYCLING IN THE CAPITAL
The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has called for a target of 20% of all journeys in London being undertaken by bicycle by 2025. As Mayor I will do everything I can to ensure that target is achieved. If we’re to meet that challenge we need a radical overhaul of cycling provision in the capital and the provision of safe, direct routes that encourage people to leave their cars at home and make their journey by bike instead.
policy document - cycling
and gymnasium providers to look at the feasibility of opening up their showering facilities to cyclists. I will also fight to get London’s parks opened up to cyclists, with dedicated cycle lines and facilities to park their bikes. The quid pro quo for cyclists will be tougher measures to tackle cycling on pavements and other hazards posed to pedestrians.
IMPROVING THE CYCLE HIRE SCHEME
I will bring together the boroughs to develop a joint strategy for cycling across London to ensure a joined-up approach across the city. Cycle routes should be as easy to follow as bus and tube routes and I will develop a cycling ‘tube map’ to help cyclists make the best of existing routes and identify gaps that could be filled through better cooperation between TfL and the boroughs.
The introduction of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, started under previous Mayor and introduced by the current Mayor, has proven a success. 6,000 bikes are being introduced to London’s streets, available from 400 docking stations in central London.
This will include extending the two existing ‘Cycle Highways’ between Barking and Tower Hill and South Wimbledon to Bank as well as the development of new routes. Improvements to local infrastructure should go hand in hand with the expansion of the new TfL Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme (see below).
But the scheme has not been without problems; the most common complaints include a lack of bicycles at peak times and popular docking stations and some service users encountering difficulty when trying to return their bicycles at the end of their journey, due to a lack of available spaces at docking stations.
We need an integrated transport network in London and that means ensuring that cyclists can take their bikes on public transport, or find a place to park their bike at stations. As part of the joint strategy for cycling in London, I will work with local authorities to quadruple the provision of cycle parking facilities at transport hubs and work with TfL to find ways of ensuring that cyclists can take their bikes on tubes, trains and buses without inconveniencing other passengers.
As Mayor, I will expand the provision of bicycles and docking stations in high use stations, such as major railway stations.
The ambitious target for increased cycle usage will only be met if commuters begin making their regular journeys by bicycle. The incentive for commuters will increase if they know they can get a shower after a long and sticky ride to work. Many large employers are able to provide facilities for use, while other cyclists rely on the showers available through private gym use. I will bring together leisure centres
There are three other improvements I would seek to make the scheme as Mayor: 1. Expand the scheme beyond central London, working with London boroughs to secure planning permission and investment in sufficient cycle infrastructure 2. Incorporate the Bike Hire scheme into the Oyster card system, to make it even more user friendly 3. Ensure the adequate provision of cycle helmets, working to negotiate discounts on helmets with retailers and looking at the feasibility of hiring helmets with bicycles to ensure safer cycling on our streets
policy document - cycling
TACKLING BIKE THEFT
IMPROVING CYCLE SAFETY
Last year, 23,000 bicycles were stolen on the streets of London – an average of 63 per day. Bicycle theft is quickly becoming the crime of choice for low-end criminals because of the quick gains and low risk of being caught. Although as Mayor I will use my position as head of the Metropolitan Police Authority to ensure that bicycle theft is being addressed strategically across the capital, I believe that prevention is better than cure.
One of the major deterrents to taking up cycling for regular journeys is fear of injury on our roads. We need to improve safety training for cyclists, but also for other road users – particularly drivers of larger vehicles. Many local authorities already provide training for cyclists and some also ensure that children receive training in schools.
The current system for registering bicycles is inadequate and under utilised. As Mayor, I will work with retailers and the police to create a London bicycle register, with registration at the point of sale. This will enable consumers and retailers to check whether a second hand bicycle is stolen and make tracking lost or stolen bicycles easier. I will also press the government to take action on this issue nationally, with a national register and tough action to tackle the traffic of stolen bikes on the internet. I will look to increase provision for secure parking facilities across London, to make parking for bicycles safer near homes, workplaces, educational institutions and transport hubs.
As Mayor, I will work with local authorities to ensure that children attending secondary schools across London receive cycle safety training, sourcing training provision jointly, where possible, to keep costs down. To tackle the risks posed to cyclists by lorries and other large vehicles, I will ensure that major contractors with City Hall endeavour to minimise road usage by large lorries during peak times, where possible and provide training to their drivers to raise awareness of the risks posed to cyclists in the city. I want a quantum leap in the numbers of journeys Londoners and visitors make by bicycle. It’s better for the environment and crucially it keeps Londoners wealthier and healthier.
MY PHILOSOPHY My approach as Mayor will rest on three fundamental principles:
Prevention is better than cure As Mayor, I will prioritise investing in the future. I want to rebalance spending, so instead of all our money being spent on the cure (e.g. young people processed through magistrates courts), we spend more on prevention (e.g. young people given support to prevent re-offending).
2 Human relationships should be at the heart of service delivery
As Mayor, I will put relationships at the heart of public policy - these networks are the glue that binds communities together, building social capital. It’s the quality of the relationship between the teacher and the pupil, police officer and resident, youth worker and gang member, Job Centre advisor and unemployed Londoner that has the greatest impact on positive outcomes.
Participation is not an optional extra As Mayor, I will work to ensure that people have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, putting people first in GLA decision-making. On the left we’ve always understood the value of redistributing wealth. We’ve been slower to embrace the value of redistributing influence, which in itself can reduce inequalities.
ÂŠ Oona 4 Mayor campaign 2010 Reproduced from the website www.oona4mayor.com. Promoted by Matt Cooke on behalf of Oona King, both at 6 Heron Quays, London E14 4JB. Images are copyright of their authors and reproduced under creative commons licence. Cover image courtesy of El Villano and London Cycle superhighway image courtesy of Brownphoto, both from flickr.com