London Mayor Doubles Bicycling Budget

Here’s a bright note for many and needed news for those concerned about politicians keeping their promises, especially their environmental promises. All is well in London on this account. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is apparently aiming to make London one of those cities we pedestrians, cyclists, environmentalists point to and say, “Ah, if only — if only my city employed a bit of eloquent transit flow and practicality such as this.”

press release in December shares this Sadiq Khan quote:

“I said in my manifesto that I’d be the most pro-cycling Mayor London has ever had. Today I’m delighted to confirm that TfL will be spending twice as much on cycling over the next five years compared to the previous Mayor. Making cycling safe and easier can provide huge benefits for us all – improving our health, cleaning up our toxic air, and helping tackle congestion. By spending £770 million over the course of the next TfL Business Plan, we’ll now be spending the same per head as Denmark and the Netherlands – places famous around the world for their cycling.”

The spirited Mayor’s announcement about cycling in London during the course of the progressing 5 years peaks to nearly double what his predecessor as Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, considered and implemented for infrastructure, etc.

Oh yes, this sounds like a mayor who gets it.

Getting around by bicycle beats slow-moving traffic found in most cities. Ever notice cyclists grooving and zipping around you as you sit there or move like a snail during rush hour. Or late at night, while walking, when the streets are more open — “Whizz. There she  goes down the street like lightning.” They sometimes look like flying bicyclists.

 From the Mayor’s Office of London:

  •  TfL Business Plan to commit an average £154m per year for cycling over the next five years – nearly double the amount spent by previous Mayor
  • Record investment represents an average £17 per head per annum, on a par with Denmark and the Netherlands
  • Two new Cycle Superhighways – CS4 and CS9 – to be consulted on next year
  •  Sadiq Khan says cycling can provide ‘huge benefits’ improving health and cleaning up our toxic air
  • This new cycling budget, which will help achieve the target of 1.5 million cycle journeys per day by 2025/26, includes the completion of phase two of the North-South Cycle Superhighway from Farringdon to Kings Cross, which will begin construction next year. It also includes the extension of the East-West Cycle Superhighway from Lancaster Gate and works to deliver Cycle Superhighway 11 from Swiss Cottage to the West End, which the Mayor has given his endorsement for and next steps will be announced imminently.
  • The Business Plan also confirms funding for two new Cycle Superhighways. Consultations will begin next year on Cycle Superhighway 4 from Tower Bridge to Greenwich and Cycle Superhighway 9 from Olympia towards Hounslow, with each route also tackling a number of traffic-dominated junctions. These new routes will open up even more of southeast and west London to cycling. The gaps in cycle routes left by the previous administration will also be looked into to make sure they usefully connect with each other, particularly in central London.
  • Working with London boroughs, the three Mini-Hollands in Enfield, Kingston, and Waltham Forest and at least 20 more Quietway routes will be planned or rolled-out, making cycling safer and easier in different parts of London including Hammersmith, Finsbury Park, Croydon, and Barking.

Back in the US, we are seeing anti-environment figures being appointed for roles meant for guardians of the environment. It can feel like we environmental types are lost in the twilight zone or worse. Only conscientious, emotionally intelligent, knowledgeable, environmentally sound people should arrive in those types of positions.

Mayor Khan also shows his progressive character and ethical center in his appointment of a new walking and cycling commissioner for London: “Unlike with previous Mayoral appointments the post has been properly advertised with an open and fair recruitment process. The Commissioner will be an advocate for active travel in London – raising the profile of both cycling and walking, and working with TfL to make cycling safer and easier.”

Khan continues: “Our plans include consulting on two new Cycle Superhighways next year, in addition to a new East-West Route. And unlike the previous Mayor, we will continue to focus on how we can minimize disruption and congestion as we push ahead with the construction of new cycling infrastructure. With record amounts of money now committed for cycling in London, we will continue to work over the coming months developing further detailed plans for making cycling a safe and obvious choice for Londoners of all ages and backgrounds.”

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Images: via Wikipedia and British Cycling

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