Sadiq Khan outlines support for cycling in manifesto - but is it enough?

Sadiq Khan cycling with Chris Boardman and our campaigner, Simon Munk in February 2016. Image Copyright The Standard 

Sadiq Khan, Labour mayoral candidate has outlined his support for cycling in his manifesto, where he says one of his priorities is to:

"Make cycling and walking safer, with more segregated cycle routes, action on dangerous junctions, and safer lorries"

London Cycling Campaign welcomed this commitment and hope that Sadiq Khan will confirm his support for Sign for Cycling, joining Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon, the only candidate so far to commit to meeting LCC’s Mayoral three point agenda so far.

LCC Chief Executive, Dr Ashok Sinha said:

“Sadiq Khan's manifesto shows he recognises that investing more in cycling is good for London and good for Londoners, and we commend him for that. London Cycling Campaign calls on him to now show that he really means what he says by committing to meet the speficic, concrete three-point agenda of our Sign for Cycling campaign."

What isLCC calling for?

Read more about our policy here

In his manifesto, Khan writes:

Our most pressing environmental challenge is cleaning up London’s air. I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health, as I suffer from adult-onset asthma. So many pollution hotspots in the city are around schools, exposing our children to dangerously polluted air, and putting them at greater risk of respiratory conditions like mine.”

London’s population is growing rapidly. If we don’t enable more people to cycle we’ll face even higher pollution levels, crippling congestion on our streets and more crowding on the tube. Supporting and enabling more people to cycle safely and enjoyably, would help to tackle this problem. But it’s vital for the capital that they have cycling firmly on their agenda for the next four years. Disregarding cycling’s potential would undermine the progress made over the past few years – London needs many more of the high quality schemes we’re now beginning to see, that make cycling safer and get many more people on bikes.

We need to make sure all candidates understand that a commitment to growing cycling is a commitment to keep London moving, for the benefit of all Londoners. The essential ingredient to achieve that growth is the provision of international-quality cycling facilities. Londoners can do this by supporting Sign for Cycling and putting their names to our petition for a safer, happier, healthier London.

Surveys show that millions of Londoners would like to start cycling, or cycle more, in the capital. The primary reason that they cite for not doing so is road danger. Addressing this issue is key to unlocking London’s potential as a cycling city. 

We are at a tipping point: we either work to sustain the welcome growth in cycling or allow London to grind to a smog inducing standstill.

The time to Sign for Cycling is now.

What is in Sadiq Khan’s manifesto?

He say’s he’ll:

  • Consult on bringing forward the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and expanding it along major arterial routes or a wider section of central London.
  • Introduce Clean Bus Corridors – prioritising new, clean buses for those services which run on the most polluted roads in the city.
  • Set a target of only buying clean electric or hydrogen buses from 2020, seeking an agreement across other major European and global cities to do the same, in order to send a signal to bus manufacturers and create a race to the top in clean bus technology.
  • Make cycling an easier and safer choice for more Londoners.
  • Appoint a pedestrian champion at TfL, to lead on measures to make walking safer and easier across London.

Specifically on cycling, he says that he will:

  • Freeze all charges for the Mayor’s cycle hire scheme for four years.
  • Increase the proportion of TfL’s budget spent on cycling.
  • Continue the Cycle Superhighway Programme, investing in new routes and learning the lessons from earlier schemes, with a focus on segregated provision.
  • Prioritise continuous cycling routes running through parks, alongside waterways and down quiet backstreets – to broaden London’s safe cycle network, while completing the roll out of current town-centre cycling improvement plans, and beginning a new round of schemes.
  • Promote safer, cleaner lorries – working with the boroughs and using City Hall procurement to set new safety standards, moving towards City Hall and TfL contracts specifying ‘direct-vision’ lorries.
  • Review the Safer Junction Programmes to identify and commence priority improvements at more of London’s major accident blackspots.
  • Deliver more cycle storage and parking, using the London Plan to ensure provision in new developments, while working with London boroughs deliver on-street secure provision.
  • Work to break down some of the city’s physical barriers, such as by backing the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf cycle and pedestrian bridge.
  • Encourage the roll out of 20mph zones across the city by backing the '20’s Plenty For Us' campaign.