Sadiq: his first year reviewed
- By SimonM on at 4:02pm 8 May 2017
- Posted in: News and blogs
- Tagged with: city hall, mayor of london, Sadiq Khan
One year into the Mayor’s first term, what progress has Sadiq Khan made on his #signforcycling pledges and making London better for walking & cycling?
Before election, Sadiq Khan pledged to:
Triple mileage of protected space on main roads
Cycle Superhighways - Khan has approved the North-South Cycle Superhighway extension, but delayed the East-West extension, probably beyond his first term as it is to be rerouted off the Westway; he's also approved CS11 but has yet to decide how Regent's Park will be handled. Deputy Mayor Val Shawcross has also announced that CS4 from Tower Bridge to Greenwich (most likely) and CS9 from Hounslow to Olympia will be consulted on this year. Little has been constructed though.
Quietways - 50km will be constructed by end 2017 according to Walking & Cycling Commissioner Will Norman on 16 routes. But far too many sections are, or are planned to be, too low quality - meaning all routes seen so far retain major barriers.
Finish the Better Junctions programme
Westminster Bridge South is in construction and is good; Lambeth Bridge North has had a fairly pointless, interim safety scheme; but permanent schemes for both ends of the bridge are close to being consulted on, as is Waterloo roundabout. Archway gyratory is being redesigned currently. And the Walking & Cycling Commissioner has announced a new "Safer Junctions" programme of 73 total junctons with the worst collision records. 21 of these have already had schemes.
Fund a mini-Holland in every borough
Existing mini-Hollands - Kingston has finally finished its flagship Portsmouth Road main road scheme, but Enfield and Waltham Forest are streaking ahead. Enfield's semi-segregated tracks are starting to appear on the A105 and at Winchmore Hill there's the UK's first attempt at something approximating the Holy Grail of Dutch junctions - the "all green scramble". In Waltham Forest, there's work going on simultaneously on several main roads, on top of the copious schemes that have now been in for a bit.
New Liveable Neighbourhoods - set to arrive in 2018, likely after local elections. And set to be smaller than the original £30 million per borough mini-Hollands.
Make "Direct Vision" lorries the norm
Khan has announced the world's first Direct Vision standard based on modelling the driver's view (without use of mirrors or screens). All 0* rated lorries are set to be banned from London by 2020, and below 3* by 2024. But we want 5* to be the norm as soon as possible.
Other pledges and schemes
Khan has pledged to remove motor traffic from Oxford Street and look at a walking/cycling bridge from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf. And both of these schemes are moving forward, Oxford Street more rapidly.
Yet to begin, and overdue are Old Street roundabout, Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street, Vauxhall Cross, Westminster's Central London Cycling Grid schemes, Hammersmith Broadway and Highbury Corner - all of which should be in construction by now, following successful consultations.
Behind the scenes
While on-the-ground construction has been thin, well, on the ground, what has been better is some of the less visible moves. Khan has done a lot on air quality and to drive down car usage with a proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone and T for "Toxicity" charge; he's doubled the cycling budget to £770 million over five years; he's retooled the TfL board to remove taxi reps and replace them with active travel experts; and he's championed TfL's "Healthy Streets" initiative which should make a real difference to getting cycling into most schemes. On top, Khan replaced Andrew Gilligan with Will Norman, ex-Nike, and the first Walking & Cycling Commissioner. Norman arrived in post after too long a gap, but has announced a "Strategic Cycling Analysis" of London - identifying routes and areas of high potential growth for cycling (and walking). This approach should help convince boroughs of where and how they spend on cycling.
Too little on the ground progress, particularly given there's now only three years of Khan's term remaining. Good work on lorries but no clear and obvious pathway to making good the promises on protected space for cycling and Liveable Neighbourhoods (Mini-Holland). Sadiq is going to have to accelerate markedly to create a legacy of being true to his word. But some bold announcements have been made on a more strategic basis; and the Mayoral Transport Strategy (delayed due to General Election restrictions and expected in mid-June) will give a clearer indication of whether we should remain optimistic or start to seriously worry.