Some of the schemes ready to be funded are the extension of the East-West Cycle Superhighway from Lancaster Gate, completion of phase two of the North-South Cycle Superhighway from Farringdon to Kings Cross, two new Cycle Superhighways (CS4 and CS9) and the building and planning not less than twenty Quiet way routes as time goes on. Three Mini Hollands will be built as well in Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest. This investment is part of what makes up the new Business plan in London which is produced in the form of draft before the end of this week.
Most of the schemes present today were all designed when Boris Johnson served as Mayor. But Mr. Khan promises to spend 5.5% of the TfL’s budget which was previously 2.4% during the time of the previous mayor to keep up the pledge he made during election. Mr. Khan said in an announcement related to his cycle budget that our health can be improved and the air detoxicated if cycling is made safe and easy.
Spending £770 on the new TfL Business Plan will match us up with places such as Denmark and Netherlands which are known for their cycling. With the amount of money now available for cycling in London, we would continue to draw up new plans on how cycling can be made safe and easy and very much accepted by all Londoner of different age and background.
According to Mike Brown, transport commissioner in London says Londoners are getting more involved in cycling and more people would be encouraged to do the same if cycling is made safer. There are several benefits attached to it and the aim of our business plan is to invest more in cycling over the next five years. Working with London’s borough we will make cycling routes safer to encourage others and make London a wonderful place. According to City Hall, the new schemes will come along with its benefit for road users with pedestrians inclusive and as well make the air clear to encourage car users switch to cycling.
The London Cycling Campaign accepted the announcement made by Mr. Khan while the CEO Ashok Sinha says the amount the mayor has decided to invest in cycling proof his seriousness concerning the promise of tripling the extent of London’s protected cycle lanes as well as other cycling related issue. London Director of Walking and cycling charity Sustrans, Matt Winfield has welcomed the idea. He agrees with the mayor as the scheme would help clear the air and provide more road space.
It would make transportation easy and affordable for Londoners and will also make London a more beautiful place.
However, Andrew Gilligan who was the cycling commissioner during the time of Boris Johnson said the amount of £154m set aside for cycling budget yearly is below what was spent the previous year and cannot afford to build the previously announced scheme (the North-South extension) which in return doesn’t show any sign of commitment. He also said that although the plan for the CS4 and CS9 is great it will likely not get to central London. City Hall will be judged based on its action not words; it’s time to put words into action after seven months in office.
The representative of Liberal Democrats in the London Assembly, Caroline Pidgeon said although the announcement made today was accepted by her however this promises need to be seen in action. She says she welcomes the plan to create a cycling bridge Rotherhithe and canary Wharf and other superhighway which she has advocated for a long time now.
However the Mayor’s statement showed no sign of commitment to introduce cycling in new places or to increase the hire scheme. Any mayor who really wants to reduce congestion and increase the rate of cycling in London should extend the cycle hire plan to areas like Rotherhithe and Richmond. Keith Prince, spokesman of Conservative Assembly transport says although the schemes of the new mayor are good but he is quite concerned about how much the mayor is willing to invest.
The mayor is making promises to invest heavily in cycling without an explanation of how the money will come about since he had already taken £640 million from TfL’s budget and his fares freeze as well. We hope this promise isn’t just a grand one that will never be fulfilled as we are looking forward to seeing investment made in cycling industry in London.
Green Party AM Caroline Russell says London is congested due to transport issue and suffers from air pollution. However if transport segregation isn’t well handled it will be impossible to make people change their approach towards transport. “The mayor needs to make clear to us if the cycle routes will be segregated or not. Most people don’t feel safe cycling on a busy road. This means more cycling routes need to be provided even more than what the mayor has planned. I will keep tabling it before the mayor for more funding to be releases for the purpose of cycling and walking. I will as well monitor some of his important schemes like the Quietways as they are built.”
In addition to the news of today, City Halls has declared that a new commissioner for walking and cycling will be appointed as soon as possible and his duty will be to advocate for active travel in London. A lot of cycling campaigners have frowned at the fact that no one has taken over that position after the stepping down of Mr. Gilligan at the end of Boris Johnson’s tenure. Mr. Khan said during the Mayor’s Question Time Session last month, that they have decided to put a hold to the appointment of a new commissioner in order for Val Shawcross, the transport deputy to assign a precise duty to the office.