Saturday, 25 October 2014

Response from the Lib Dem London Assembly Members

Caroline Pidgeon AM has responded to our concerns about Canary Wharf's lobbying on behalf of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Members.

This is the third response and follows emails from Murad Qureshi AM (Labour) and Darren Johnson AM  on behalf of the Green Assembly Members. We hope we will hear from the Conservative AMs soon.

Caroline's response:

Thank you for your email about cycling infrastructure in London. I am responding on behalf of myself and Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat Assembly Members. 
I agree that we urgently need safe, segregated cycling provision, and I strongly support the planned North-South and East-West superhighways. They are extremely ambitious, and crucially they provide segregated space for cycling across the city through what are currently some of the most dangerous junctions. It is a tragedy that another cyclist has been killed at one of these junctions while this debate continues. 
I share your concerns over the lobbying activities of Canary Wharf Group, and I have raised the issue of potential conflicts of interest with the Mayor. You can read my question here: 
I also raised the issue of needing to tackle these vested interests at a cycling fringe meeting recently. To hear this and my views on cycling in London more broadly you can listen to my speech here: (from 24m 45s).
I do understand concerns about the composition of the TfL board that have also been raised, and I am happy to raise the issue of greater cycling and pedestrian representation in the future. 
I would like to assure you that the London Assembly Liberal Democrats are firmly in favour of space for cycling, and we will continue to campaign to make sure these projects are completed without being scaled back or watered down. 
Thank you once again for getting in touch. 
Kind regards, 


Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group
Chair Transport Committee
Deputy Chair Police and Crime Committee

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Response from the Green London Assembly Members

Following our emails to members of the London Assembly expressing our concern about the lobbying from Canary Wharf, I received this email from the Darren Johnson AM (also responding on behalf of Jenny Jones AM):

Many thanks for your message. I am responding on behalf of the Green Assembly Members, myself and Jenny Jones AM.  
I share your concerns about the scale and ferocity of the lobbying from some sections of the business community against the plans for an East-West cycling superhighway. This is a long over-due addition to making cycling safer in London and has our support.  Whilst the Canary Wharf Group have every right to lobby against a particular transport project as part of the democratic process, it is nevertheless still very disappointing that they hold such outdated views and that they expending time and energy actively blocking key measures that will improve cyclists' safety in London. Thankfully, the public consultation has generated a strong reaction amongst those businesses which are keen to support the superhighway and I will be pressing the Mayor not to dilute the plans. 
I also share your concern at the apparent attempt by the Canary Wharf Group to keep the lobbying anonymous, especially when a leading member of the Transport for London Board has not declared his affiliation to the strong views of his employers. The Assembly's Transport Committee which I sit on was assured that legal advice was being sought on this, following complaints. Whatever the outcome of the legal advice on the position of Peter Anderson, it would be unimaginable that any member of the Board should not be asked to declare them.  As chair of TfL's Finance and Policy committee, Peter Anderson is clearly in a very influential position. The key issue for me is the issue pecuniary interest, with Mr Anderson being seen to advocate a position which he believes is in the commercial interests of his employers. Such a pecuniary interest would appear to make his position untenable in chairing or taking part in any discussion on this at the TfL board. I will be pursuing this matter formally with the Mayor. 
On the wider issue of the superhighways, it is clear from many of the Mayor's recent answers to my formal written questions that between three or four more highways will be built by May 2016, when Boris Johnson's term as Mayor comes to an end. He will have failed to deliver on the promise to build 12 superhighways which he made back in 2009. A promise he repeated, with the addition of the East-West superhighway, in his manifesto of 2012. My concern is that most of the current projects contained in the cycling vision, including the superhighways, will not be finished by 2016 and could be abandoned by an incoming Mayor.  
The plans for better junctions and the initial three mini-Holland schemes also need the support of everyone who believes that safer cycling is one of the key priorities for reducing traffic congestion and pollution in London. Whilst I can understand why defending the proposal for an East-West superhighway is particularly important, I am also keen not to lose sight of the bigger picture. 
Promoting cycling and decreasing road danger have been consistent priorities for the Greens on the London Assembly and will continue to remain so. If you would like to be kept informed about our work on cycling then please email and we will add you to our email circulation list (emails are approximately once a month). Please be assured of our continued commitment to making our streets safer and more attractive for cyclists through our work with cycling campaigners, through putting pressure on the Mayor and TfL and through our formal committee work here at City Hall.

Darren Johnson AM
Green Party Member
London Assembly
City Hall
Queens Walk
London SE1 2AA
020 7983 4388

Monday, 20 October 2014

Potential conflict of interest to be reviewed by TfL's lawyers

Following our emails to the members of the London Assembly I will be publishing the responses in the order they come in. If you have received a response not listed here, please add it in the comments at the bottom of the page.

The first response I received was from Murad Qureshi AM, as follows:
Dear Fred, 
I agree with your analysis of this conflict of interest for Peter Anderson, hence why l have sent the following letter below to TfL lawyers. 
Murad Qureshi AM

His email to Howard Carter reads:

Dear Howard, 
I write to you in your capacity as General Counsel for TfL. 
It has been drawn to my attention that Peter Anderson the Finance Director of Canary Group PLC is also the Chair of TfL Finance & Policy Committee. 
Following recent media reports that Canary Wharf Group PLC has initiated extensive and anonymous briefings which are critical of TfL’s Cycle Superhighway Plans, are you satisfied that his role is not conflicted in making decisions over the investment into Super Cycle Highways? 
Murad Qureshi AM

Cyclist dies after crash at Ludgate Circus

Dear Friends,

At Ludgate Circus on Friday a cyclist was left fighting for her life after another incident with a left turning HGV [1, 2]. We have just learnt she has died of her injuries. In a similar incident in April at the same junction a cyclist was crushed to death under a HGV [3].

A colleague saw the aftermath and took this
photo of the bike flattened under the wheels
This junction is on the route of the proposed North-South Cycling Superhighway. If the superhighway is built these tragedies will not be repeated [4]. 

This is the superhighway Canary Wharf PLC have been campaigning against and want scrapped. 

Canary Wharf admitted to secretly briefing against the proposals. Peter Anderson is the finance director at Canary Wharf PLC, he is also the chair of the TfL finance committee which decides whether or not these the superhighway will be funded. Peter Anderson has declared no conflict of interest on the subject [5, 6]. It is this kind of lobbying that has prevented safe cycling infrastructure in the past.

We won over public opinion [7]. Now we must ensure the shady lobbying and conflicts of interest are stopped permanently. 

The London Assembly has powers to hold the Mayor and TfL to account and to investigate important issues. The members of the London Assembly are also answerable to us, their electorate. We must alert them so they can put a stop to this lobbying which is putting the lives of cyclists at risk.

Can you take a couple of minutes to write to your London Assembly Member to demand a stop to the shady lobbying against superhighway plans which will save lives?:

Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the cyclist who was fatally injured on Friday.

Thank you for your support,



Dates for the diary:
- 15th November will see a major road safety protest on Oxford Street, London:
- 16th November is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims:


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Write to your Assembly Members

Write to your London Assembly Members to demand a stop to the secret briefings and shady lobbying around the latest cycling proposals. The Canary Wharf PLC employees who failed to declare conflicts of interest need to be removed from TfL committees and have no chance to torpedo the plans.

Write to your Assembly Members

  1. Go to
  2. Type in your postcode and press 'Go'.
  3. Select 'Write to all your London Assembly list members' (you may need to scroll down).
  4. Write your email - advice on what to say below.
Note: you need to enter some personal details, this is to prevent spam and also to show you live in their constituency - it's important because it means the emails carry more weight.

What to say

Rather than send a standard email it is a much more powerful message if people say it in their own words, but to help you out we want people to share what they've said to inspire others. Please share the text of your email with everyone in the comments below. 

Here's something polite and to the point to get you started, please read & personalise it even just a little:

Dear London Assembly Members,
I would like to draw your attention to recent reports regarding Canary Wharf PLC in relation to TfL, in particular the proposals for new Cycling Superhighways. The reports include secret briefings and a potential conflict of interest by Peter Anderson, who is set to chair TfL's November finance committee which will decide whether to fund the Cycling Superhighways. 
As my representatives on the London Assembly I am calling for you to hold the mayor and TfL to account so they resolve this situation and, if shortcomings are found, follow up with any necessary changes.

We need to know if TfL committee members have undeclared conflicts of interests. Committee members with undeclared conflicts of interest must resign their positions. I am calling for the London Assembly to put pressure on the TfL board to establish conflicts of interest and take appropriate action as a matter of priority.

In addition TfL must review the processes for selecting committee members and ensuring they do not have undeclared conflicts of interest. Where conflicts of interest are discovered there should be procedures for reviewing past decisions which may have been affected. 
Finally I would like to highlight the lack of representation of cyclists and pedestrians on TfL boards. As key components of the mayor's transport strategy cyclists and pedestrians need to be part of TfL's decision making processes. 
I hope you will take action to make sure TfL's governance upholds it's aim to "provide safe, integrated, efficient and economic transport facilities that are in line with the priorities of all sections of society, established through consultation". 
I look forward to hearing from you on this matter and I ask that you keep me informed of action taken. 
Kind regards,

To provide further inspiration, here's an extract from an email by Simon at Stop Killing Cyclists:

"I am writing to express concerns about reports in the media regarding the lobbying of Canary Wharf Group against the proposed cycle lanes. 
Firstly there were reports in the Evening Standard from an anomynous source regarding a group of large London businesses who were against the proposals. Recent reports confirmed the anonymous source as being Canary Wharf Group and that they had paid an organisation to lobby against the proposals.  
Secondly, information regarding journey times in London provided by TFL was used misleadingly in the report issued by Canary Wharf Group. 
Thirdly and most worryingly it has been reported that Canary Wharf's Finance Director is also chairing a meeting held by TFL to discuss the funding of this proposal and that no conflicts of interest have been reported by Peter Anderson despite Canary Wharf's recent lobbying against the proposals. 
As someone who works in the Finance industry and who has worked at Canary Wharf, I am rather dismayed at these reports. I am also surprised at the concerns Carnary Wharf Group have given that the vast majority of people who work at Canary Wharf use public transport and that the proposed cycle highways are some distance from the area. 
I have nothing against those who have a different opinion to this proposed scheme, in fact discussion is be welcomed as this will lead to the best solution. What I do have concerns with is the apparent lack of transparency in Canary Wharf's actions to a proposed infrastructure that will benefit many members of the public and the reported conflict of interest."

15th November, Oxford Street: Road Safety Protest

On the 15th of November there will be a protest march on Oxford Street with a die-in at Marble Arch organised by Stop the Killing. The event seeks to highlight the damage caused by motor traffic & the transport policies which prioritise it above all else. There is a particular focus on safety for people cycling and walking:
"The UK’s road network is not fit for purpose and must be fully reformed to protect road users, the public, society and the environment."
The protest meets at Bedford Square at mid-day and will proceed down Oxford Street which will be closed to traffic in one direction - which should be interesting mid-day Saturday on the lead up to Christmas! At Marble Arch there will be a rally, speeches and a die-in.

Join the protest on Facebook here:

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Boris' promises vs. his legacy

Boris is approaching the end of his time as mayor and we're starting to get an idea of which parts he will and won't deliver, however there's still a lot to play for. As Cyclists in the City has written, we need to make sure we get as many promises delivered as possible to ensure the step change for cycling in London isn't a false start. 

Some of the plans are due to be delivered under the next mayor who might not be supportive. We will need to keep campaigning to get the best for cycling and set a precedent for ambitious cycling schemes.

Cycling Superhighways

Mayor Watch report "Two cycle superhighways axed while third is pushed back until 2017".

Originally twelve Cycling Superhighways were planned, with four delivered (numbers 2, 3, 7, 8). Lack of protection for cyclists in the original designs means CS2 is being substantially revisited and all further plans are expected to be substantially segregated.

Proposals for largely segregated routes have been bought forward for CS5 and the North-South & East-West routes, which were not on the original announcement.

Darren Johnson AM (@DarrenJohnsonAM) asked several questions to check the progress of the remaining Cycling Superhighways, these revealed:

Dangerous Junction Reviews

Darren Johnson has questioned the mayor about the one hundred junctions they promised to review. Written response from the Mayor and Commissioner:
TfL remains fully committed to reviewing all the original 100 locations and making appropriate improvements at any junction where recommendations have been made as a result of this review. A phased review of junctions has commenced, with reviews at 70 junctions completed to date. TfL aims to complete the review process by the end of 2015.
In terms of outcomes being released they say:
If recommendations for improvements arise following the review process at each junction, they will be consulted on publicly and all responses considered before being progressed into detailed design and construction.
Which begs the question, of the 70 reviewed, how many need improvements in addition to the 33 previously identified?

Junction improvements

In February Boris promised to improve 33 of London's most dangerous junctions, as shown on the map below:

TfL map of 33 junctions for improvements

Boris has said ten of these will be delivered by May 2016, the schedule for the remaining 23 (including the notorious Bow Roundabout) has not been released but seems likely to be the responsibility of the next mayor.

Cycle Parking

In response to a question from Caroline Pidgeon the Mayor gave the following update:
In 2008, I committed to delivering an additional 66,000 cycle parking spaces between 2008-2012. This was delivered one year early, with 67,208 cycle parking spaces secured and delivered by TfL and its delivery partners by the end of March 2011.
They are now planning to install an additional 80'000 by 2016 and have installed 30'000 - which seems like an awful lot considering how little of it I see on the roads...

Cyclists turning left on red

Question No: 2014/2984 from Caroline Pidgeon:
On page 26 of your 2008 vision for transport, Way to Go, you stated that you would consider allowing cyclists to turn left at red lights, as is allowed in many other European cities. 
Written response from the Mayor and Commissioner:
Allowing cyclists to turn left on a red light at signal-controlled junctions would require a change in UK law. TfL has raised this with the Department of Transport, but we understand the Department has no current intention of exploring such a change. It has not been allowed in the draft revised Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (due for publication in 2015). 
TfL is therefore introducing other cycle-friendly innovations that can be introduced under current regulations.  This includes the provision of early starts for cyclists at signalised junctions and the provision of dedicated lanes for cyclists to bypass signals.  


Cycle Superhighways - FOUR dropped, two new routes added leaving us with ten. In addition, the delivery of several of these routes is going to be under the next mayor. But by the end of Boris' term we should have half the routes delivered (possibly more) and the remainder in the pipeline.

Safer Junctions: 100 reviewed, 33+ identified but only ten delivered.

Cycle parking: Boris met his target.

Looking forward to the election campaign for the next mayor we will need to be pushing candidates to commit to completing the Cycle Superhighways & Safer Junctions, as well as going forwards with their own cycling projects.


Canary Wharf Group PLC have been secretly briefing against the Cycling Superhighways but they chair the Transport for London finance committee which decides whether these get funded.

If they get their way the Cycling Superhighways will be stalled or scrapped at the November meeting. I don't think they are likely to succeed but it isn't a chance we can take.

Write to your London Assembly Members to demand Canary Wharf employees are removed from their committees and have no chance to torpedo the plans: (once you input your postcode it gives you a list of people you can write to).


  • For an analysis of recent schemes see 'TfL - mixed progress on segregated cycling'.
  • Much of this information comes from Q&As from the London Assembly collated by the Green Party Group. You can receive their emails by contacting 
  • The new information also revealed a segregated scheme for Kings Cross is being looked at for consultation next year!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Cyclists vs. Canary Wharf

The attempts by Canary Wharf Group to halt the Cycling Superhighways have been widely reported (here, here and here).

I don't think they will succeed.

They've started by shooting themselves in the foot with a secret briefing so full of holes you could use it as a sieve.

But more importantly cycling has a broad base of active & vocal supporters. We will get people on the streets, we will fill TfL's consultation mail-bag till it bursts and we will lobby politicians at every level.

They want to stop us (potentially) affecting their business. We want to stop them killing cyclists & pedestrians with motor transport. Who is going to dig deeper and fight harder?

This is our chance to make a change for a better London and to save lives.

This is about more than one scheme and it's about more than cycling. It is about everyone who has been put in danger by a motor vehicle, everyone who has a respiratory or cardiovascular condition, climate change, pedestrians, cyclists, parents worried about their children and everyone who hates the clutter/noise/smell of motor vehicles pervading London every day & night.

So while they're enjoying their weekend I'll be campaigning. Please spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and real life. Support the campaign for a safer, healthier, happier and more sustainable London.