Boris Johnson's cycle policy must try harder

A motorbike entering a bus lane Credit: Owen Pearson

In their first assessment of Boris Johnson’s Transport Manifesto, London Cycling Campaign said Boris Johnson must try harder if he is to win over London cyclists.

Koy Thomson, LCC’s Chief Executive, said “Boris Johnson has said that he would go for a higher cycling target than Ken which we applaud, as we do his promise on a mass bike hire scheme, tough action on bike theft and adequate cycle parking. We also think he is right to say that small cars should not be excluded from the congestion charge. We should aim to encourage car drivers onto cycles irrespective of the size of their engines.”

But LCC rejects calls for motorbikes to be allowed in bus lanes and challenges the assumption that motorbikes are a necessarily greener form of transport.

Koy Thomson said “We have letters from our members asking us to oppose motorbikes in bus lanes. Often bus lanes are the only space cyclists can use on major roads and are liked by new cyclists because they are free of the intimidation of high-volume, high speed motorised traffic. We are seriously concerned that putting motorbikes in bus lanes will undermine plans, supported by both the Mayor and Boris Johnson, to make cycling a major transport mode in London. Contrary to popular belief, motorbikes are not a green alternative. Per passenger mile they emit more of a large range of pollutants than cars.”

LCC’s electoral campaign manifesto calls for the cycle hire scheme that all candidates have now promised as well as a 20 mph speed limit, increased cycle confidence training and tougher action to stop cycle theft. The main candidates’ responses to the manifesto will be published in the forthcoming issue of London Cyclist magazine.