“Hire Danish and Dutch architects” to improve current infrastructure says one retailer Another insists cyclists will only use dedicated paths if they follow three principles – “faster, safer and more comfortable”

So, how would you spend the £55m on London cycling…?

LONDON CYCLE retailers are
urging the TfL to spend cash on the
repair and redirection of existing
networks, rather than complicating
London with new structures.
“Employ qualified engineers to
design our cycle networks” –
that’s the response BikeBiz
received when calling around
London’s stores asking where TfL’s
£55m donation to city cycling
should be spent. And many IBDs
believe that the current network
of cycle routes are a “national
disgrace” and “dangerous”.
Phil Cavell of Cyclefit said:
"Conditions for cycling in the city
have, in my opinion, got worse.
£55 million wouldn’t buy a lane
on a motorway and I doubt it will
do much to overhaul the current
infrastructure. To make city cycling
work you must follow three
principals – safer, faster and more
comfortable. I feel that 95 per cent
of London’s network is poorly
directed and thus do not meet
those criteria. Cyclists should not –
and hopefully will not – consent to
unsafe routes for much longer.
Andrea Casalotti of Velorution
echoed this statement, telling
BikeBiz: "They outsourced road
contracts to the French because
they had a proven track record.
Now it’s time to bring in the
Danish and the Dutch engineers
to plan out London’s cycle
network. I can think of one cycle
lane in particular that officials
said was safe, but is quite the
opposite – the lane brings the
cyclist out behind an allocated
parking space to join the flow of
traffic. The way many cycle lanes
are designed encourages cars and
cyclists to fight for what is very
much the same space."
Mayor Boris Johnson has set a
target to have a minimum of five
per cent of Londoners cycling daily
by 2025. Just £5m of the £55m
has so far been officially allocated,
with £2m going to secure bike
parking and £3m going into adult
and child training schemes which
currently operate in 29 of
London’s 33 boroughs.
Casalotti said of these
schemes: "I’ve heard nothing but
good reports about these
educational schemes."
Silka Kennedy-Todd, a press
officer at TfL told BikeBiz: "London
is the only city in the world to
have achieved a five per cent
shift in private car use to public
transport and cycling. Our target
is to increase cycling in London
by 400 per cent by 2025. That’s
the equivalent of five per cent of
journeys made by bike, as
opposed to the current two per
cent. Within the congestion
charge zone, 43 per cent more
people cycle when compared to
before its introduction."
Transport for London declined
to comment on where the rest of
the money would be spent.

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