A great speech from Chris Boardman to the London Councillors

Chris Boardman made a powerful speech on the 9th of March at City Hall trying to inspire the local councillors to prioritise cycling to benefit everyone. Sutton Councillors, please pay attention.


Here are some extracts from Chris’ message to councillors (but we recommend taking the time to listen to the whole ten-minute recording):

“…we like to think that we make decisions based on logic, and common sense and statistics. We don’t. We do the easiest thing for us, right now, today

66% of our journeys in the UK are less then 5 miles. That’s a leisurely 25-minute bike ride. We know congestion is intolerable. We know that we are not meeting emissions targets. We know that there are 35,000 deaths a year directly related to obesity at a cost of over £5bn to the NHS (and that does not even touch on deaths related directly to pollution)

A study by the London School of Economics showed that every regular cyclist… contributes £590 a year to the UK economy

“A survey conducted by British Cycling last year showed that 60% of people who do not ride a bike regularly said they would like to do so if they felt safer…. That’s some latent demand!

“I don’t know the specific challenges that your boroughs face. But I know that, in my area, I came up against a lot of what I term ‘positive indifference’. We have some fantastic noises, and some really positive speeches, backed up with minimal resource and energy. Energy that is mostly directed at finding a very good rational of why we can’t change”

The people in this room have to make bold and courageous decisions. And I can tell you that infrastructure that tries to accommodate cycling without impacting motor vehicles …., infrastructure with a design philosophy behind it of let’s keep the cyclists safe by moving them out of the way of the car, will fail

If it were in my gift, I would actually compel Andrew [Gilligan] and his team not to give any money to schemes that keep the status quo, (or) that only prioritise cycling in the space that others don’t want to go. It would be more cost effective to give the money directly to the NHS

“Take the bold decisions, make those bold choices, make cycling the easiest option for the man on the street, and you will look back and be proud of the decisions you made

v2: 09.03.2017: Speech extracts added

 

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Posted in Advocacy

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