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: www.writetothem.com (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 Rachel.Carlill@london.gov.uk 
  • The new information also revealed a segregated scheme for Kings Cross is being looked at for consultation next year!

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