Sustainable transport charity Sustrans is teaming up with The Times newspaper, which in February launched its Cities Fit For Cycling campaign, to hold a debate later this month on cycle safety involving the four main candidates in London’s mayoral elections. The debate, involving the Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Labour’s Ken Livingstone, the Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones of the Green Party, takes place in Westminster on Monday 30 April.
That's just three days ahead of the election on 3 May and two days after the London Cycling Campaign’s Big Ride, which calls for safer streets for cyclists. The holding of the debate reflects the fact that the safety of cyclists has moved up the political agenda in recent months, not just in London, where it had been clear since late last year that it would be a key issue in the election, but also nationally, particularly since The Times unveiled its campaign.
Sustrans supporters and Times readers will be able to apply online for tickets for the free event which will take place from 2pm to 3.30pm in Westminster. Sustrans has told its supporters in London to watch out for an email about the event in the coming days, while you can also apply for tickets via The Times website.
Carl Pittam, Sustrans' England Director, said: "In cities like Copenhagen cycling is the norm for everyone, from commuters to mums doing the school run.
"Cycling in our capital is more popular than ever but more than half of us still find our roads too scary to cycle on.
"Roads that are safe for cycling are also safer for pedestrians, children and drivers – and are more pleasant for all Londoners to enjoy.
"Creating safe streets for cycling and walking must be top of our Mayor's to-do list."
James Harding, Editor of The Times, who will be chairing the debate, added: "Cities must build an infrastructure fit for cyclists. Britain's cities and streets must change.
"Cycling should be not just a healthy and quick way to get around but also a pleasure. At the moment, those who ride have too much to fear."
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.