Ashok Sinha explains why London cyclists should be keeping an eye on George Osborne later this month

As well as welcoming readers to the new London Cyclist Monthly e-newsletter, LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha also explains why it's now more important than ever to keep cycling at the top of the political agenda.

Question: what have 40,000 Londoners, including you, got in common? Answer: you’re all part of the largest urban cycling campaign in the world. That’s right... we, the London Cycling Campaign.

We’re the largest because of your support and better still, we continue to grow year-by-year. And because size brings influence, we're going from strength to strength in making London safer and more inviting for you and for other cyclists (and potential cyclists) whatever their age and abilities.

In fact, we don’t just press political London’s decision-makers to take action, we do it ourselves too. The projects we run in partnership with Transport for London, councils, community groups, businesses and schools (a massive thank you to all of them) bring cycling directly to many thousands of Londoners every year.

Projects like the hugely popular affordable cycle loan schemes we have set up in partnership with Greenwich and Lewisham councils, which are being used by people from all walks of life from across local communities.

We are able to achieve all of this because of your support. So apart from our great respect and sincerest gratitude (and a promise to continue to campaign tirelessly on your behalf) we owe you something more. You deserve the latest news, the snazziest products, the best offers, the most entertaining videos, the most attractive routes, and the most up-to-date event information, all packaged up in a neat bundle and delivered direct to your inbox. So that’s what we’re giving you.

Our new London Cyclist Weekly digest does all the hard work for you by collecting the best cycling-related content from London and beyond. Our new London Cyclist Monthly e-zine (of which this is part of the first issue) adds comment, analysis, money-saving deals, and info about events and rides, nicely complementing our more in-depth London Cyclist member magazine (now quarterly).

We hope you like our new weekly and monthly emails. If you do, please pass them on to your friends and colleagues. If we’re falling short, let us know so we can make them better.

Going back to the politics: it’s little more than a year since we successfully pressed all candidates in London’s mayoral elections to promise Dutch-style support for cycling, and little more than a couple of months since Mayor Boris Johnson explained how he is going to make his promise real through his Vision for Cycling – an unprecedented £400-million cycling programme over the next three years. By the time the July edition of London Cyclist Monthly arrives with you we'll know whether Boris has persuaded Chancellor George Osborne to give him the money he wants for transport improvements in London.

The signs are that Mr Osborne won’t entirely play ball, leaving the Mayor looking for cuts, including potentially from the hard-won cycling budget. This means everyone who recognises that cycling has been starved of funding for decades despite being one of the most cost-effective ways to keep our city moving needs to stand ready to tell Boris to protect the new cycling budget, now that we have finally got a decent one.  

That’s all for another day, however. For now, welcome once again to this first edition of London Cyclist Monthly. Enjoy the sunshine – and happy cycling.


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