Safe bike lanes and junctions will persuade us to cycle more, say the majority of Londoners

The next Mayor of London must prioritise safe and convenient bike lanes and make junctions and roundabouts less dangerous if they want to encourage more cycling, according to a YouGov survey published today.

The survey, which suggests over half a million Londoners already cycle at least once a week, coincides with the launch of the London Cycling Campaign’s Love London, Go Dutch petition, which calls on the mayoral election candidates to commit to more people-friendly streets and continental-standard cycle facilities in the capital.

51% of Londoners said the next Mayor can take action to encourage them to cycle more, with 78% of those people naming safe and convenient bikes lanes all over London or safer junctions and roundabouts as their top priority.

Concern about sharing roadspace with fast-moving motor traffic was the number one reason why Londoners said they don’t cycle more often.

16 cyclists were killed on London’s road last year, up from 10 in 2011, with many more suffering life-changing injuries.

Despite widespread concerns about the safety of cycling in the capital, 31% of parents said there were positive steps the next Mayor could take to encourage them to cycle more with their children, with 81% of mothers who said they could be encouraged favouring safer bikes lanes or safer junctions and roundabouts.

LCC’s Love London, Go Dutch campaign is a response to the deep worries that existing and potential cyclists have about safety, and is calling for the next Mayor to take a radical new approach to street design.

Redesign London for the people

To illustrate how this can be done LCC has today published its latest set of innovative street designs, showing how Parliament Square and the Olympic Park could be made safe and inviting for all Londoners to walk and cycle. Last year, LCC published a people-friendly redesign of the controversial Blackfriars junction.

Parliament Square

Olympic Park

Blackfriars 

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, “There’s a real danger London will be left behind by other global cities such as New York, Paris and Amsterdam if the next Mayor doesn’t look beyond outdated solutions that always favour motor traffic over cyclists and pedestrians.

“We’re calling on the next Mayor to provide safe and convenient bike lanes on main roads, safer passage for cyclists and pedestrians across roundabouts and junctions, and more people-friendly streets where people work, shop and live.”

So far the Love London, Go Dutch petition has been signed by TV presenter Lauren Laverne, indie band Franz Ferdinand, culture writer Alain de Botton and design guru Stephen Bayley.

The campaign is sponsored by Brompton Bicycles and Bywaters Recycling, and supported by the Dutch Embassy.

All those in favour of the campaign are being urged to sign the petition at www.lcc.org.uk/go-dutch.

Core demands in the next mayoralty 

We want the new mayor to prove their commitment to Love London, Go Dutch during the next Mayoralty (2012-2016) by doing the following:

  • Implementing three flagship Go Dutch developments on major streets and/or locations
  • Making sure all planned developments on main roads that they control are redesigned to Go Dutch key principles, especially junctions (www.lcc.org.uk/pages/key-principles)
  • Ensure the Cycle Superhighway programme is completed to Go Dutch standards.

Turning London into a city that's safe and inviting for cycling will take time, but it's imperative we start now...

 

Replies

This is Brilliant ! 

 

CX

  • By bigpete at 07:30am 14 Feb 2012

As someone who has wholeheartedly supported the idea of bringing Dutch-style cycling infrastructure to London's streets am I alone in thinking " Oh, is that it?".

This is a rather timid and very British interpretration of Dutch best practice. The proposal for Parliament Square doesn't look like somewhere you would want to take your eight-year old child or your 80-year old grandmother for a ride.

It's quite nice but it's not Dutch. Why are we still putting so much emphasis on ASLs?

Is shared space in one of the busiest tourist spots in London really going to work?

The scheme proposed by Pedestrianise London (http://pedestrianiselondon.tumblr.com/post/17338360813/going-dutch-in-parliament-square) looks much more like somewhere a Dutchman (along with his children and grandparents) would feel at home. David Hembrow and Mark Wagenbuur (who know a thing or too about Dutch cycling infrastructure!) have some interesting comments to make.

I don't want to be negatve but I feel we should be asking for what we actually want, not falling into the trap of merely asking for what we think we might get, and then having that watered down into something we didn't want.

This post was edited by bigpete at 07:33am 14 Feb 2012.

We are focussing a lot on junctions and some of the main highways. What I'd like to see is a London wide review of all current advisory cycle lanes on roads in London.

The reason is that most of them are dangerous. Many don't meet the minimum guidelines of 1.5m and very few meet the recommended width of 2m.

Why is this needed urgently, because narrow cycle lanes lead to near misses and collisions with vehicles overtaking. Cycle lanes give the impression to many motorist that as long as they don't coss the line when overtaking they are OK and safe. This is completely untrue. Anyone overtaking a cyclistshould give that cyclist enough room to continue safely this is far more than 2m. Also if the vehicle happens to be an HGV or bus then overtaking the cyclist by hugging the dotted white line could suck the cylist under the vehicle.

Many councils, officers and politicians, have the dangerous opinion that the advisory line can only be wide enough so vehicles can follow it without getting near the centre line so many cycle advisory lanes end up being less than 1.5m and some less than 1m. Offciers and Councillors need to realise that these lanes are advisory and have no impact on traffc flow unless they are overtaking a cycle, it then advises them of where in the road they should be. This misunderstanding needs to be rectified quickly.

There is more than enough evidence that drivers when overtaking a cyclist on an advisory lane will drive much closer to the cyclist than is safe, whereas on roads without advisory lanes they give the cyclissts much more room and don't use the lanes as an excuse to squeeze through.

In effect by council officers and polititians allowing narrow cycle lanes they are in fact breaching the guidelines within the highway code by encouraging motorists to overtake too closely.

I do hope that this is picked up within the campaign

This post was edited by raymondox at 10:37pm 15 Feb 2012.

  • By MontyW at 10:18am 17 Feb 2012

Here is an introduction to cycling in the Netherlands:

http://youtu.be/rn2s6ax_7TM

 

As you can see, the UK has a very long way to go to catch up. :-(

This post was edited by MontyW at 10:45am 17 Feb 2012.

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