Where are the men? All female Mayoral candidates Sign for Cycling

Sophie Walker, Women’s Equality Party, has today become the third candidate to Sign for Cycling. She joins Sian Berry, Green Party and Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat Party. With all three female Mayoral candidates agreeing to support safer cycling for all, it’s time to ask, where are the men?

Sophie Walker, Women’s Equality Party said:

"The Women’s Equality Party and I are fully supportive of the LCC’s Sign for Cycling campaign and committed to delivering its three-point agenda.

“Currently women and children are much less likely to use bicycles because of concerns about safety. Women only make 26% of all cycling journeys in our capital, yet make up a disproportionate share of those killed or seriously injured. Women’s Equality (WE) pledge to create safe, usable cycling networks for all, including building more segregated bike lines and reducing the numbers of heavy goods vehicles on the roads during rush hours, as well as installing bicycle traffic lights at larger and more dangerous junctions. WE are committed to supporting LCC in making more space for cyclists on our roads, and are happy to back the LCC's Sign for Cycling campaign.”

There has been silence so far from key candidates George Galloway, Sadiq Khan, Peter Whittle and Zac Goldsmith on LCCs Sign for Cycling campaign, despite over 7,000 Londoners having signed a petition calling on them to back safer cycling. Both Mr Khan and Mr Goldsmith have issued positive statements in their manifestos on cycling but without firm commitments to meet concrete outcomes on issues such as protected cycle tracks, mini-Hollands and “Direct Vision” lorries.

Amy Summers, Campaigns Coordinator at the London Cycling Campaign said:

“It’s vital the next Mayor makes cycling safe and enjoyable for everyone to keep London moving, and make our city a happier, healthier place to live. More men currently cycle than women in London. Redressing that balance is something Sian, Caroline and Sophie have demonstrated they understand by backing our Sign for Cycling campaign. Do the male candidates also understand how important the three point Sign for Cycling agenda will be to enabling cycling for all? We’re waiting to find out.”

Caroline Pidgeon, the London Liberal Democrat Candidate said: 

"Anyone serious about wanting to be Mayor of London will realise how important it is that we promote cycling. Not only because it’s an important mode of transport, but because the health and environmental benefits to London and Londoners can save taxpayers many hundreds of millions of pounds.  It is disappointing that not all the candidates for Mayor recognise this."

Sian Berry, Green Party Candidate said:

“Far fewer women cycle than men in London, yet last year, the majority of cycle deaths were women, so it’s perhaps not surprising that women candidates are more attuned to issues of cycling safety. But that’s certainly no excuse for my male rivals not to support the LCC campaign. Getting more Londoners walking and cycling is a crucial part of the solution to reducing transport congestion and cleaning up London's  illegal air. I'd like to see a city where streets are valued as public spaces and where getting around on foot and by bike is an obvious, safe and convenient choice.”

 

LCC will continue to call for the support of the main Mayoral candidates, along with thousands of ordinary Londoners who are backing the Sign for Cycling campaign. Six of the main candidates will be asked to respond to LCCs specific three-point agenda at a ‘Keep London Moving’ Hustings event on the 29th April organised in partnership with The Times.

BACKGROUND

In March, LCC launched the ‘Sign for Cycling’ campaign, calling on London’s next Mayor to make cycling safe and enjoyable for everyone. LCC formally contacted the main Mayoral Candidates to ask for their support for our three cycling pledges, if elected. So far, over 7,000 people have signed our petition supporting that call.

London Cycling Campaign asked them to commit to the following three-point agenda:

  1. Trebling the total length of protected space for cycling on London’s streets. 
  2. Extending Mini-Holland style schemes to every London borough. 
  3. Use the Safer Lorries Scheme - plus other mayoral powers – to move as quickly as possible to a situation where “direct vision” lorries are the norm on London’s streets. 

Read more about our three-point agenda here