Saturday, 2 April 2016

Caroline and Sian on bikes

In a follow up to my post about Zac and Sadiq, today I am writing about the mayoral candidates Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrat) and Sian Berry (Green).

Both candidates have been vocal about their ambitions for cycling, have plendged serious investment and they are currently the only candidates to sign up to the LCC's Sign for Cycling vision.

Sign for Cycling includes three main pledges which align closely with the aims of this campaign:
  • Triple the number of miles of protected cycle lanes on London’s roads, to help people of all ages and abilities access the road network by bike. We need high-quality, protected space on main roads and at junctions to avoid forcing cyclists to mix with heavy or fast moving motor traffic. 
  • A ‘Mini-Holland’ for every London borough - ‘Mini-Holland’ schemes create cycle-friendly town-centres. They encourage people to make local journeys by bike or on foot, help regenerate communities, and bring more customers to local businesses. 
  • London’s next Mayor must act to end lorry danger. This must include upgrading the Safer Lorry Scheme and using planning powers over major construction projects so that only the safest lorries, are allowed onto London’s streets.
This establishes both candidates as frontrunners in terms of cycling ambition and policy, here are some of the details of their proposals.

Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline Pidgeon is a long standing member of the London Assembly and advocate of cycling and road safety. She is keen to make the point that improving London for cycling improves the environment for everyone and her policies are for the benefit of all Londoners. Key policies:
  • She is unashamedly pro cycling in her proposal for a central London lorry ban to reduce congestion and keep cyclists safe.
  • Increase the congestion charge to reduce the number of motor vehicles in the central London zone.
  • Nearly double spending on cycling to 3% of Transport for London’s budget by the end of her term in office to match the number of people cycling (and further increases if more people cycle).
  • Face the tough political decisions "I want to carry on the cycle superhighways – even the controversial bits – but I also want to look at outer London, because I think that there’s a real opportunity there to get more people out of their cars and on to bikes for those shorter trips."
She has appeared in a video interview with Chris Boardman, which is worth a listen if you have three and a half spare minutes.

Sian Berry

Sian Berry is a Green Party Councillor in Camden, previously worked as a roads and sustainable transport campaigner at the charity Campaign for Better Transport and cycles to work. 

We don't yet have details of the official Green Party policies for the election (we will publish when we do). Previously she responded to Stop Killing Cyclist's 10 by 2020 campaign and detailed her ambition for cycling:

Making cycling an easier and safer way to travel would make our city better in so many ways: reducing traffic and congestion, cutting the pollution that causes nearly 10,000 early deaths every year, reducing noise, allowing more space to be given to pedestrians, play and life on the streets, and helping citizens stay fit and healthy too.
  • Responding to a call for 10% of Transport for London's budget to be spent on cycling she said she would work towards this if elected, but recognised she would need to ensure bus and tube services didn’t suffer as a result. She suggested funds could be found by:
    • Cancelling the planned new motorway bridges and tunnels in East London.
    • Introducing a Workplace Parking Levy using existing powers, similar to her proposals in Camden
    • An overhaul of the congestion charge (see below).
  • She proposes replacing the Congestion Charge with a scheme covering all of London (not just the small central zone), with the funds raised used to provide sustainable transport options.
  • On physically protected cycle lanes she says "For me it’s the number one measure that would get a wider range of people cycling, and get current cyclists using their bikes for more journeys... If New York can do it, we’re well overdue this kind of road space revolution in London!". We agree.
  • She supported having two cyclists positions on the TfL board - one for inner and one for outer London - and reducing the number of business representatives.