2000 people join together in central London to support safer streets for cycling

Police estimate up to 2000 people took part in a mass bike ride on Wednesday 22 February 2012 in central London, where a mile-long river of cyclists highlighted the need for radical change in many of London's streets.

Please sign the Love London, Go Dutch petition to show your support (see photo).

Organised and marshalled by iBikeLondon, Cyclists in the City and the London Cycling Campaign, the ride was timed to take place the evening before the important Parliamentary debate on cycle safety taking place at 2.30pm on Thursday 22 February.

This debate was prompted by the extensive coverage of safety issues by the The Times newspaper and the continuing road danger reduction work from other leading other campaigners.

During the ride BBC News interviewed campaigners live from Parliament Square, an LCC spokesperson talked live on BBC Radio London, and ITN's London Tonight covered the ride live, including showing LCC's radical redesign of Parliament Square to millions of TV viewers.

Earlier on Wednesday in the Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron admitted there was still a massive amount that needs to be done to reduce road danger for cyclists in the UK:

"Anyone who has got on a bicycle, particularly in one of our busier cities, knows you are taking your life into your own hands every time you do so, and so we do need to do more to try and make cycling safer."

However, the Prime Minister's strong words were only backed up by £25 million to spend on cycle safety nationwide, largely on peripheral measures such as mirrors and cycle training, which while welcome are not sufficient to make streets truly safe for all cyclists.

In the UK, we currently spend just £1 per head of population on cycling infrastructure, compared with £10-20 in the Netherlands.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, "We thank the 2000 people who came together on a wet and windy February evening, and everyone who took part in making the ride such a success.

"We don't think these 2000 people will be satisfied with the crumbs the Prime Minister offered yesterday, nor the limited ambition of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

"It's time our politicians accepted that there must be fundamental change to our main roads, busy junctions, and residential and shopping streets, to make them safe for cyclists of all abilities."

"Londoners deserve a city where children can cycle to school safely, where parents have the pleasure of riding with their children, where everyone has the freedom to choose cycling."

"Now please put Saturday 28 April in your diaries because on that day we'll be holding London's biggest ever ride in support of safer streets for cycling, the London Cycling Campaign BIG RIDE. See you there..."

Many thanks (again) to London's best cycling photographers: Ben Broomfield for the photos on this page; and Steve Rutherford, for the 'Love London, Go Dutch' portraits.