Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Friday, 8 March 2013

Quietly miraculous

That's how Transport for London describes the bicycle, in Our Beloved Mayor™'s latest plan for cycling in London.

At last it looks as though someone on high has got the message that it will take consistent - and persistent - planning and commitment (and money) to achieve any sort of shift towards Dutch levels of usage. All the right noises are being made about what and who it's all for (ordinary people pootling to the shops, the station, the school) and what they might need to encourage them (segregation in time and space, thought-through planning of routes, junctions and integration with other public transport, consistent and easily understood signage and mapping). The headline spending figure looks eye-wateringly substantial too.

But that "quietly miraculous" is attached, in the document, the potential effect on health because of the reduction in air pollution if enough people ditch the car for the cycle; and no doubt neither it nor the date of publication has anything at all to do with the current  embarrassing court case about our laggardly progress in dealing with air pollution - dear me, no.

1 comment:

  1. Cycle lanes in big cities aren’t all that common on the continent either but you’ll not find any roads outside of the very largest cities in Northern Europe that don’t have them as a matter of course.

    The problem is that cyclist in the UK often don’t see themselves (correct me if I’m wrong) as fully part of traffic, with equal right but also duties and obligations to observe traffic regulations. Our whole attitude has to change.

    A bicycle in Germany, for instance, is just another means of transport and no cyclist would think of weaving through traffic, ignoring traffic signals or using the pavement.