None of the candidates running for London Mayor has a plan to help young Londoners get around, or cut the school run’s massive contribution to congestion in the city, according to transport charity Sustrans.
All but the current Mayor have been commended by Sustrans for promising slower speed limits and the charity is urging all candidates to outline how they will make London’s children safer when they take part in a cycling hustings event on 30 April.
Sustrans is calling for 20mph speed limits on residential and shopping streets across London and safer routes for children to cycle and walk to school.
Carl Pittam, Sustrans England director, said: “Car journeys to and from school are a massive source of traffic and pollution, not to mention a major headache for parents and kids. Making our streets safer and more pleasant for children to cycle or walk to school would mean they’d be healthier, happier and more alert in the classroom.
“It’s great for London that four leading candidates are backing more 20 mile per hour speed limits, but very disappointing that the current Mayor isn’t among them. The cycling safety debate next week is an ideal opportunity for Boris, Ken, Brian, Jenny and Siobhan to reassure parents and kids they will make a difference to their every day journeys.”
Sustrans verdict on the five manifestos are:
– New independent candidate Siobhan Benita has raised eyebrows by committing to a third runway at Heathrow, but is pioneering innovative new approaches such as cycle safety as part of the driving test
– Conservative incumbent Boris Johnson frames himself as the cycling Mayor, but appears to be taking 20 steps backwards by committing to unnecessary and polluting new roads
– Green candidate Jenny Jones clearly sees the value of walking and cycling as main transport choices, but her short manifesto lacks detail on how she’d achieve her vision
– Labour candidate Ken Livingstone has made an admirable commitment to cycling for everyone, not just hardened young men in the city centre, but his promise to make parking easier would see more people driving
– Brian Paddick shows how the Lib Dems understand the link between transport and quality of life. He puts Boris to shame with a commitment to new river crossings in East London that prioritise public transport, bikes and pedestrians over private motor vehicles.