Digging up a past article

I was looking around for some London pro-cycling articles and I found this.

An excerpt from Andrew Neather, London Evening Standard, July 2007:

“We also need tougher police action against badly behaved road users. I include cyclists among them. But drivers are the main problem. If there were actually a police presence on our city’s roads, rather than just cameras, then we might get the message across that using mobiles while driving, running red lights and stopping in box junctions are not acceptable acts. That would make cycling a lot safer. Has Boris got the guts to take on the drivers?

But it’s not just them. Local councils are crucial too. Where they have taken the lead, boroughs have pushed up the numbers travelling on two wheels impressively. Hackney is widely viewed as a model. Its “permeability” programme has targeted money at simple things such as removing obstructive railings and putting in contra-flow cycle lanes in some one-way streets – the kind of projects that cost a few thousand pounds, rather than the millions gobbled up by some major junction improvements, for instance. The result? More than one in 10 of all journeys in Hackney is taken by bike.

Yet such projects depend on councils being enthusiastic. A majority of TfL’s £55 million cycling budget this year will be spent in the boroughs, which have to bid for funds for projects on their patch. If they don’t do enough, there’s not much that TfL can – or will – do about it. Likewise the London Cycle Network Plus, a 900-kilometre network of routes, has run into trouble because of opposition from boroughs such as Barnet. Late last year a report warned there was a “high risk” that it would not be completed by the target of 2010: as of April, almost a third remained unfinished, with unresolved squabbles holding it up at scores of locations.

If Boris really wants to increase the numbers of people cycling, he is going to have to take on the boroughs – even if that conflicts with the more laissezfaire approach he has taken towards them compared with Ken.”

Either way, he has to do something because of the European Pollution fines.

In August 2008:-

“The mayor’s office said he was fully committed to working with the government. “He is also working, through Transport for London, to cut emissions from transport through a shift to walking and cycling and the use of new technology. He has committed £1m for the development of less polluting taxis, while by 2012 all new buses on the streets will have lower emission hybrid engines”


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