Sign for Cycling

Let’s imagine a better London for cycling, let’s imagine a better London for everyone

In May 2016, London elects its next mayor. In response to this, the London Cycling Campaign has launched Sign for Cycling. This is where you can imagine a better London for cycling, and then act upon it!

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Sign for Cycling (www.signforcycling.org) is all about ensuring that London’s next mayor continues the momentum for growth in cycling. London’s next mayor must make our streets safe and enjoyable so that more people choose to cycle and walk for short journeys rather than drive. That’s why the London Cycling Cycling is calling on the mayoral candidates to commit to:

You can help make this a reality by letting the mayoral candidates know that you would like a city that is greener, healthier and easier to get about. Please sign the petition today (www.signforcycling.org).

Sign for Cycling: from Hugh Myddleton Primary School in Islington

A critical time for the future of cycling in London

With a new mayor shortly to be elected to office, this is a critical time for the future of cycling in London. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London (2008-2016), published his Vision for Cycling three years ago this week, on 7 March 2013 (available to download from our Publications page). Boris has achieved much since then, highlighted by his announcement on the third anniversary of the report, that London’s iconic “bike Crossrail” will open next month (on 30 April 2016 to be precise).

Proper cycle infrastructure is, at last, appearing in central London, and there are currently plans and ongoing consultations for decent facilities extending outwards through zone 2. Since July 2010, London’s cycle-hire scheme (an initiative developed by Boris’ predecessor Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London 2000-2008) has helped changed the landscape has well. Meanwhile, there is progress with the safer lorries scheme, and three outer London boroughs are going through challenging, but exciting times, with potentially transformative “mini-Holland” programs.

What about the rest of London? There has been little investment in cycling in most of the outer London boroughs. These boroughs, including Sutton, mostly continue to run their local roads with a ‘business as usual’ approach that largely ignores cycling as a legitimate mode of transport. Meanwhile, population levels are rising, the streets are getting busier, and car parking is becoming a hot topic.

The next mayor could help relieve these pressures by building on progress towards making London a ‘city fit for cycling’, by accelerating developments in the outer boroughs, by taking control of more of the infrastructure, and by providing more funding and a stronger lead for the councils.

Or the next mayor could go backwards.

The cycling message must be heard

This is no time for back-pedalling, or for shifting gear away from cycling just because it is thought that the cycling-box has been ticked. 2016 must not be seen as the high-watermark year for cycling, otherwise it will be downhill all the way from now on. Future residents of Sutton will not thank us for it.

It is our job to ensure that the candidates for mayor and the London Assembly get the message about the transformation of our roads that so many Londoners wish to see in advance of the election on 5 May. This is especially important because, at the moment, candidates are tending to hear from a vocal minority who do not want to see improvements for cycling, rather than from the silent majority who do. Candidates are hearing noises (often based on mis-information), rather than numbers (based on evidence and facts). Evidence shows that improvements for cycling bring improvements to all sorts of quality of life issues. And the facts are that polls, conducted nationally and by Transport for London, have shown that cycling improvements are incredibly popular. The majority of people are in favour of cycling schemes.

Political leadership is key. Not just from the mayor, but also from Council Leaders. We are told that in Sutton there is the political will, and the Council have recently published a cycling strategy. But a lot of what happens next, depends on the next Mayor of London. So the cycling message must be heard. One way of ensuring that it is, is to Sign for Cycling. Quite simply, an opportunity not to be missed. Hope you will join us, and take it!

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Would you like to get involved?

Get Sutton Cycling will be working hard to ensure that people in Sutton support the campaign. If you want to get involved to help spread the message, for example, by helping us hand out flyers, tag bikes, or collect petition signatures, please contact us getsuttoncycling@gmail.com. You can also find out more about supporting the campaign here (http://bit.ly/ChampionLCC).

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Posted in Advocacy, News

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