Mayoral candidates respond to LCC's cycling manifesto: Lindsey German, Left List

Following on from our mayoral elections piece in the current issue of our members’ magazine London Cyclist, which features responses to LCC’s cycling manifesto from Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Sian Berry and Brian Paddick, LCC has invited all mayoral candidates to send us their responses to our 10 point plan to transform cycling in London.

The London Cyclist article can be downloaded using the link on the right.

We’ll publish candidates’ responses as we receive them – keep checking back for updates.

Lindsey German, Left List

1. Make 20mph the standard speed limit on London's streets to reduce road danger and encourage cycling and walking.

"Agreed, but this needs to be part of an overall reassessment of our transport system. If the average commuter speed is 9mph, it's hardly surprising that car drivers drive much faster than 20mph when they have an opportunity to. Among other things, this requires adequate investment in public transport."

2. Make reducing road traffic crime a London-wide policing priority because these crimes lead to the most injuries and deaths.

"It is a travesty that far more people are killed and injured on our roads than by other threats - including terrorism, but this is not reflected in political or policing priorities. As well as the investment in public transport suggested above, this requires a cultural re-education, not just more policing.  The culture of car driving - from the manufacturers' adverts to Jeremy Clarkson - is macho, crass and speed obsessed.  A disproportionate amount of accidents involve young drivers who have never been taught to drive responsibly, for whom driving recklessly can be an escape from boredom or low self-esteem. They have certainly never been taught to take cyclists into account and a diminishing number have ever learned how to ride a bike properly, which in itself would improve road safety. This all needs to change if we are to have safer roads."

3. Deliver free on-road cycle training for London's children, subsidised training for adults of all abilities and compulsory training for highway engineers and transport planners.

"Agreed, but with a recognition that people will not take up cycling in significant numbers until they feel safe. Cycling experience should also be included in the driving test."

4. Return one-way systems and streets to two-way operation and create advantages for cycling and walking, thus maximising route choice and minimising diversion. Provide means and incentives for boroughs to support this shift.

"Agreed. Far more road priority should be given to cyclists and pedestrians, but again, this requires a cultural shift. Other countries manage it - there's no reason why we can't."

5. Ensure high-standard cycle parking is available at every workplace, station and shopping area, as well as in all new homes.

"Agreed, but also make sure they are decent cycle parks that actually work easily, rather than looking fancy. Keep cycle stands simple!" 

6. Ensure the budget for the completion of the London Cycle Network Plus (LCN+) to a high standard in all 33 boroughs with effective removal of all barriers and the creation of strong network links between boroughs.

"Agreed. As with cycle parking, cycle paths need to really encourage cyclists by being effective. A bad cycle path is worse than none at all. As with question 4 above, cyclists and pedestrians need to have priority and cycle paths must not be subservient to roads."

7. Adopt ambitious targets to encourage walking and cycling to all events and attractions supported by the Mayor, culminating in the first 'active spectator' Olympics in 2012.

"It would be good to think this could happen, but the recent report of Olympic bureaucrats 'needing' chauffeur driven limousines doesn't inspire confidence. The Olympics present a brilliant opportunity, not least to encourage cycling on the back of the success of our cyclists at the recent track world championships - but this can only happen if cycling is seen as part of the transport mainstream, not a minority activity. Ken Livingstone should set an example. He should just ban cars from the Olympic park. Make the blazers and politicians walk or cycle!"

8. Create a Paris-style mass cycle hire scheme by 2009 and include all Olympic venues by 2012.


9. Start a major campaign of action against cycle theft including a significant theft reduction target for the Metropolitan Police in every borough.

"Agreed. Experience in Tower Hamlets suggests that such a concerted approach does bring results." 

10. Produce a tube-style map showing strategically important and family friendly cycle routes to encourage Londoners to think of cycling as an everyday mode of transport.