We need safer environments to cycle in – everyone knows that. Safe protected space to cycle in reduces conflict with motor traffic and pedestrians, improves congestion and most importantly brings the health and wellbeing benefits of cycling to all cyclists, old and very young – not just macho 30-somethings like me.
Well-designed cycle facilities have been tough to find in London for years, but things are changing, with real momentum to finally sort it out properly. The Space4Cycling campaign is a good example of that. Launched by London Cycling Campaign and other groups last year, it really effectively highlighted the dangers we face, and the easy ways to remove them.
This year’s campaign is a once-quadrennially (ahem) opportunity to get things done using this year’s local elections to put pressure on councils effectively. Teams of LCC volunteers have polled thousands of London’s cycle commuters to highlight the most important sections of their particular routes and drawn up a proposed infrastructure improvement, or ‘ask’ in every singleBy joining the campaign, you can send a message to every prospective council candidate in your ward that you want to sort cycling out – and they’re listening. At the time of writing this, more than 1-in-3 candidates across London have responded to over 33,000 messages from the public by committing to deliver the cycling ask in their ward over the next 4 years.
Space4Cycling in Southwark – Ride Sat 10th May
Southwark, where I live, is one of the best and busiest boroughs in London. As well as hosting thousands of cyclists (>3000 LCC members live in Southwark!) there are tens of thousands of commuter trips through the Borough every day. Of course, our central location means lots of other road traffic as well, and it doesn’t help that the Council is one of the poorest in London.
Things are changing though, with the Cycle Superhighways CS7 and CS2 due to be improved ‘soon’ (crossing my fingers) and joined by CS5 from New X to Victoria (after a terrible start and a couple of rounds of consultation, TfL are now looking at more physical segregation here).
So to get the maximum possible impact Southwark Cyclists, the LCC local group, are running a fact-finding ride / demonstration this Saturday 10th May through some of the most dangerous parts of central Southwark. Candidates are invited to see for themselves, and a number (including all major parties) are likely to come. So come along, and you can tell them in person about the dangers you face on Southwark’s streets.
The ride will be guided, and take approximately 1 hour from 11am, finishing at midday at the Park Life Café, in Burgess Park. Meet at Queen St on the north end of Southwark Bridge (start of CS7) – just look out for a load of cyclists!
The Big Ride – Saturday 17th May
The focus of all the cross-London campaigns is The Big Ride, where thousands of cycle campaigners, celebs, politicians and well, the rest of us are marching (cycling) on Westminster to show our demand for change.
Last year’s ride attracted tens of thousands of cyclists and as a direct result, Boris signed up to Love London, Go Dutch at the eleventh hour. Come along for the ride this year and get some real change on London’s roads!