Mayor of London's Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan takes part in Dutch study tour

Andrew Gilligan, Mayor Boris Johnson’s Cycling Commissioner, taken part in a fact-finding visit to the Netherlands organised by the Dutch Embassy with assistance from the London Cycling Campaign.

Gilligan said, “British cyclists should never come to Holland because it just makes you jealous and angry at the state of facilities in the UK.”

He said he was keen to see Dutch ideas such as bike-specific traffic lights, station cycle hire, and streets designs that could be implemented in London. 

The trip was a direct outcome of our Love London, Go Dutch campaign whose high profile encouraged the Dutch Embassy to promote the know-how of the Netherlands to British politicians and transport planners.  

This visit isn't Gilligan’s first to the country: indeed, he has ridden across the Netherlands and been impressed by the commitment to cater for cycling in every planning project.

The study tour also included senior politicians and planners from Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Manchester, and visited a wide range of Dutch facilities and cycling programmes.

The trip included exposition of these aspects of Dutch cycling and more:

  • Major cycle highways being implemented in Nijmegen
  • Children taking a cycling exam, part of their regular curriculum
  • The town of Houten, where everyone cycles and moving cars are rarely seen
  • Rail stations with spaces for thousands of parked bikes
  • High-quality junctions, cycle bridges and cycle-friendly ferries

Dutch MPs and the mayors of Amsterdam, Nijmegen and The Hague all made clear that cycling was seen as a cost-effective solution to transport problems and a benefit to individual heath and the environment.

The chair of the Dutch parliament’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Paulus Jansen, told British delegates that they were not standing still and investment was continuing – he wanted to see half of all journeys made by bike.