Conference calls for London's political leaders to implement continental cycling facilities

On Thursday 18 October a packed Love London, Go Dutch conference heard calls for London’s politicians to show strong leadership in creating a genuine cycling revolution in the capital.

The 150-delegate conference saw one of the broadest range of attendees and largest concentrations of cycling expertise ever seen in London (see below) and the #GoDutchConf hashtag trending on social media platform Twitter:

  • Coalition Transport Minister Norman Baker
  • Dutch Ambassador to the UK Laetitia van den Assum
  • Alderman of City of Amsterdam Jeanine van Pinxteren
  • Philip Darnton, former chair of Cycling England
  • Representatives from the All-Parliamentary Cycling Group of MPs
  • Transport for London and Department for Transport civil servants, including TfL director Ben Plowden
  • Borough officers & local councillors
  • Experts from the Dutch Cycling Embassy
  • Dutch business representatives
  • British Cycling, CTC, Sustrans and CEoGB representatives
  • National newspaper journalists and bloggers

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha called for Mayor Boris Johnson to make substantial progress towards fulfilling his Love London, Go Dutch mayoral election promises

“We’re delighted to have played our part in bringing Transport for London, national and local UK politicians and civil servants, and Dutch politicians, business people and infrastructure experts together under one roof for the first time.

“London cycling needs political leadership , and we’d like the Mayor and Transport for London to build on the positive aspirations generated of the conference and explain exactly how they plan to implement their three Love London, Go Dutch commitments.”

Letter from Mayor Boris Johnson

In a letter to LCC dated 3 October 2012 (see below), Mayor Boris Johnson reiterated his commitment to his election three promises, saying:

“Following my commitment during the election campaign, I asked Transport for London to review the London Cycling Campaign’s Love London, Go Dutch to ascertain how the principles it establishes can be incorporated into the design and implementation of cycling schemes in London, taking into account the UK legal framework and regulations, the physical characteristics of London’s streets, and the needs of all road users.”

The mayor’s letter also says Love London, Go Dutch will be considered by the Better Junctions review team and the newly established Roads Task Force.

It’s hoped this statement from the mayor will signal a change in approach to a system where – as in the Netherlands – walking and cycling are given priority over motor traffic.

Lambeth Bridge workshop

A Love London, Go Dutch workshop, facilitated by experts from the Dutch Cycling Embassy, saw representatives from Transport for London, local councils and cycling and walking campaigns work together to produce a people-friendly redesign of Lambeth Bridge and its approaches.

Presenting the outcome of the workshop at the conference, Dutch Cycling Embassy expert Marjolein de Lange agreed with an earlier call by LCC for a Dutch-style roundabout at the northern approach, while the recommendation for the southern approach was for a cycle-friendly crossroads with traffic lights, replacing the current signalised roundabout.

The three Love London, Go Dutch conferences are the result of LCC's hugely successful 2012 mayoral election campaign, which gained support from all five of the leading candidates.