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Gap in cycle superhighway will be filled – but no cycling and walking commissioner for London until next year

Deputy mayor for transport tells Chris Boardman and Caroline Russell that stretch will be completed as planned

Assurances have been made that the Spur Road and Birdcage Walk section of London’s East-West Cycle Superhighway will be completed next year after fears that Royal Parks would not allow it to pass in front of the Queen Victoria Memorial.

The government agency, which manages eight parks in the capital, wanted the planned route changed to avoid Birdcage Walk and instead use the Mall.

According to The London Evening Standard, both Chris Boardman and Green Party London Assembly member Caroline Russell have now been given assurances that it will be built.

Boardman spoke with Val Shawcross, Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for transport and was told it is going ahead as planned.

“I had a good meeting with Val,” he said. “She has always been a supporter of cycling. I’m well aware in politics it’s not always about the person who has the top job. I don’t know the system she has to work with.”

Russell is to question Sadiq Khan about delays to the cycle superhighway at next week’s Mayor’s Question Time. She said that she too had been told by Shawcross that the work would be going ahead.

“We just need to keep watching it,” she said. “Despite the fact we are seeing really positive stuff in terms of the number of people using these cycle routes, there are an awful lot of people who would prefer the polluted, congested status quo.”

It does however seem likely that a new cycling and walking commissioner will not be appointed until next year.

Boardman expressed disappointment that Transport for London had failed to “pick the brains” of Andrew Gilligan who had fulfilled the role under Boris Johnson.

“There is knowledge there that isn’t being used. There was no move even to keep him as an interim until they had a replacement. If you want to triple the amount of cycle lanes, you can quickly start to run out of time if there are months when nothing new has happened.”

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emishi55 | 7 years ago

Sadiq would do well to consider the progress made by namesake Janette (Sadik-Khan) who managed to get 400 Miles of Bike Lanes in New York City built.


You can do this kind of thing quickly and cheaply by trialling first to find out where the best options are - aiming for a traffic grid - that keeps side streets and residential streets safe for cycling and walking and access only.


Barcelona's getting the job done, as are so many other European cities. Copenhagen unsurprisingly forging ahead (more bikes than cars!).


London has so many areas of proven worth that clearly demonstrate the plain and obvious: if you want to cut pollution (let alone diabetes, depressive illness, cardiac ailments etc etc etc), you don't carry on allowing motor traffic to act as an inconvenience and an inpediment to would-do cyclists.

You use as Janette S-K did, whatever's available to get stuff into place.

We can use armodillos, orcas, plantersmflower pots, railway sleepers whatever.

followed up with more permanent fixtures as cycling takes it's rightful place as the obvious and sensible choice of transport mode.

Y'know, like it is for the Dutch.      

nil | 7 years ago
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Sadiq, who is somehow going to make London "a byword for cycling" and pledged to triple the length of segregated routes, has so far proposed nothing new.  Val Shawcross has repeatedly said nice things about active travel, but they remain to be backed up.

Jem PT | 7 years ago

I commute on Birdcage Walk and Spur Road, so I am glad to see that sense has prevailed!

ibike | 7 years ago

So the section of the E-W route that has already been commited to (but was delayed) will now be built. Good news of course but why was it in any doubt?

Stalling on appointing even a watered down Andrew Gilligan replacement is troubling news and shows that Sadiq Khan isn't really interested.


bikebot replied to ibike | 7 years ago

ibike wrote:

So the section of the E-W route that has already been commited to (but was delayed) will now be built. Good news of course but why was it in any doubt?

Because the section is under the control of The Royal Parks and they have a long history of being colossal dicks.

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