The Guardian columnist has seen the light. The final three paragraphs of Polly Toynbee's column in today's paper are intensely pro-cycling... (although we could have done without the deaths bit...)

Make London Britain’s first bicycling city, argues Toynbee

Her column is about bringing the Olympics to London and what could be done to leave a lasting legacy:

"What London needs most is something that spreads the Olympics to everyone. It needs a great Olympic cycleway, a network as safe and fine as anything in Holland or Germany for public exercise, transport, fitness and pleasure. Let the Olympics make London a bikes-first city by 2012, change the priority at every set of lights to make bicycle routes so safe that any child can cycle to school.

"London’s few half-hearted cycle routes peter out whenever the car demands priority, helping the accident rate; I know three cyclists who have died on London streets. No wonder fewer than 2% of journeys are by bike. In Amsterdam it’s 28%, and it would be here if it was easy. With 15% of the tube out of action, Londoners have been storming the bike shops for fear of more bombs. They are misguided: 87 cyclists are killed for every rail traveller over the same distance.

"London was first on congestion charging: now let its Olympics make it Britain’s first bicycling city. It would improve the environment for everyone else, with cleaner air, less traffic and emptier buses and tubes. Here would be one great permanent Olympic social good for all."…/0,3604,1532002,00.html

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