Does Mayor's plan to 'smooth traffic flow' runs counter to safer cycling in London?

Boris bikes to #cyclesafe Mayoral hustings, then ‘alienates audience’

This afternoon’s Cyclesafe debate, tweeted live by BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid, has now drawn to a close with each mayoral candidate for London having said their bit on how they would not only revolutionise cycling in London, but make the streets safer and the air cleaner.

The biggest clap of the day came when transport commentator Christian Wolmar suggested to current Mayor, Boris Johnson, that his plans to ‘smooth traffic flow’ would run at odds to safer cycling in the city.

Johnson, despite being the only candidate to arive on two wheels, retorted that "We have to move away from the idea that cyclists are morally superior. We can’t pastoralise our streets."

Ken Livingstone suggested that the high cost of public transport fares had done little to encourage Londoners from their cars and even went as far to make clear his feelings on Addison LeeGate, damning John Griffin’s views on how London’s infrastructure should function. The current Government has also terminated its contract with the minicab firm.

Livingstone also said: "There will be priority for a London Cycle Network. Our target is 10-15 percent [modal share]. Priority for cyclists at left junctions."

The Green Party’s Jenny Jones expressed concern about air pollution, among other things, telling the audience: "The issue of air pollution is a public health scandal, and 80 per cent due to motorised traffic." Meanwhile, Jones appeared to echo the notion that ‘Sorry mate, I didn’t see you," isn’t good enough, telling crowds: "If you’re driving two tonnes of metal on the road it’s your responsibility to look out for vulnerable road users."

Jones also thanked national newspaper The Times, for bringing the topic of cycle safety to forefront of people’s minds ahead of the May 3rd elections.

Johnson appeared not to have done his homework ahead of the hustings, seemingly having not really grasped what ‘going Dutch‘ means in cycling terms. The crowd baracked him when he said: "We’re poised to colonise fresh parts of the city. We want to reduce number of KSIs (killed or seriously injured)," when promising more hire bikes.

Neither Johnson or Livingstone commited to looking into separating bike lanes from the road.

A few more key tweets can be seen below.

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