We set out the key principles for our Go Dutch campaign for best-practice street design
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 2:25pm 27 October 2011
- Posted in: News and blogs
- Tagged with: fatalities, dutch cycling embassy, main roads, cycle lanes, go dutch, junctions
Earlier this week, in the Guardian Bike Blog, journalist Matthew Wright made several incorrect assumptions about our 'Go Dutch' campaign.
We're pleased the media are so interested in our campaign (it doesn't launch officially until January), but they haven't quite got it yet.
With a certain degree of irony, this Guardian article was published on the very day we posted our Go Dutch core principles on our website.
If only Mr Wright had called us for a comment on his piece, then we could have pointed him to this information...
In reponse to his article we wrote the following:
Mr Wright is wrong to assert that our Go Dutch campaign is solely about cycle paths, or that we're "misrepresenting" the Dutch approach.
Our campaigns team has recently visited the Netherlands, where we met leading planners, engineers and cycle campaigners.
Among others, we spoke with the Dutch Cycling Embassy and several leaders of the social and political action groups that brought about the changes in transport policy in the 1970s.
One of the fundamental differences between Dutch and British practice is that in the Netherlands they begin by considering the needs of pedestrians and cyclist whenever they design or renew street infrastructure.
As a result they make pleasant and calmed streets where possible, yet choose to provide separated facilities for cyclists where necessary on main roads.
Another difference is that street layouts and traffic law usually give priority to cyclists over motor traffic in urban areas.
Our emphasis on main roads addresses the areas of greatest failure by Transport for London, which is why our members voted overwhelmingly for this 'Go Dutch' campaign.
Eight of the fifteen cyclist fatalities this year happened on the TfL main road network, and six of these occurred in places where there have been serious questions about the lack of safe road design.
These are the reasons why it is imperative we start applying Dutch design principles at these main road locations as a first step towards transforming London into the type of cyclised city common in continental Europe.
January launch for Go Dutch campaign
The Go Dutch campaign doesn't launch officially until the New Year, but we'll be fleshing out our ideas further in the Xmas issue of London Cyclist magazine, due out in the first week of December.