Chris Boardman and cycling campaigners have called for London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, to deliver on his cycling promises for the capital.
Before the elections Khan pledged to increase the cycling budget and continue the Cycle Superhighway programme started by his predecessor, Boris Johnson, as well as tackling dangerous lorries and rolling 20mph speed limits across the city.
As well as meeting with Boardman to say he would make London "a byword for cycling", Khan signed up to the London Cycling Campaign’s Sign for Cycling agenda, pledging to treble cycling infrastructure in the capital over the four year term, and offer all London boroughs the chance for a Mini Holland scheme.
In reminding him of those pledges, Boardman, who is British Cycling's Policy Advisor, said: “Sadiq Khan very kindly met with British Cycling during his election campaign, and it was both interesting and encouraging to hear his pledges for cycling in London, which included increasing the proportion of Transport for London spending on cycling.
“However, as is always the case, the proof will be in the pudding.
"Mr Khan clearly recognises the challenges which face modern, expanding cities such as London, and that cycling is a ready-made solution to some of the most pressing of these challenges. It is crucial now that he sticks to this conviction and shows the will and the determination to see these plans through.”
At the launch of the new East-West Cycle Superhighway, aka the Cycle Crossrail, outgoing mayor Boris Johnson said cycle infrastructure was a key way to unlock brownfield sites in the capital and build the homes Londoners need as the city grows rapidly.
Shortly before the elections Khan agreed to the London Cycling Campaign’s Sign for Cycling agenda, as well as signing up to many of Stop Killing Cyclists’ 10 by 2020 asks, including to double cycle spending, pedestrianise Oxford Street, and introduce London-wide 20mph speed limits, a pledge he reiterated at a Mayoral cycling hustings ahead of last week’s elections.
At the Mayoral cycling hustings, held at the Times headquarters in London, Khan said he would appoint a cycling and walking commissioner if elected. Boris Johnson’s cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, was believed by many to have been key in ensuring the success of the cycling programme in London.
Stop Killing Cyclists co-founder, Donnachadh McCarthy, said Khan’s pre-election pledges mean “the new Mayor is committed to building momentum on transforming London into a modern European safer-cycling city, even if not at the rate we believe is urgently needed.”
He said: “This will help London tackle its health emergency due to traffic pollution and inactivity diseases, with over 9,000 Londoners dying every year from traffic pollution and thousands more dying from inactivity diseases due to lack of protected cycling lanes.”
London Cycling Campaign CEO, Ashok Sinha, said: “We look forward to working with Sadiq Khan to make London a better city for everyone by making it a safer and more inviting place to cycle. We hope that he will act fast and begin building on Boris Johnson’s achievements in order to meet LCC’s three-point agenda, as part of his commitment to our Sign for Cycling campaign.
“We’d like to thank Sadiq Khan for making such clear and measureable commitments to achieving the environmental, health, and quality of life benefits – not to mention taking pressure off the public transport system and alleviating congestion on the roads - that mass uptake of cycling will bring to London and its rapidly growing population. The London Cycling Campaign will monitor progress with keen interest and help in any way we can.”
Stop Killing Cyclists also welcomed the appointment of two Green Assembly members, Sian Berry and Caroline Russell, who replaced former Green assembly members Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson.