The 2021 mayoral candidates on cycling

Elections for the Mayor of London, and the twenty-five Members of the London Assembly, will be taking place on 6 May 2021. With campaigns launched, the opportunity has been taken to take a look at what the mayoral candidates are saying specifically about cycling in their manifestos. A similar review was carried out ahead of the last elections five years ago in 2016.

There are twenty mayoral candidates standing on 6 May 2021, and they are listed below in alphabetic order. Details of the candidates have been copied from the Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections information booklet produced by London Elects. The booklet includes mini-manifestos submitted by candidates with the exception of those indicated * (booklet as pdf).

The text that follows is exactly as it appeared on the websites or in the manifestos of the parties concerned (accessed 22 and 23 April 2021). Any additional text is shown in italics. It is hoped that these extracts capture the essence of the commitment from the candidates, although it is recognised that the summaries do not provide the full context. Furthermore, some items pertaining to cycling may have been missed in the preparation of this article. And, of course, cycling, is only a part of the picture.

For each candidate, links to their websites and manifestos (if these are available), are provided. Apologies to candidates and their agents should there be any omissions or errors in this text.

You can read about London Cycling Campaign’s 2021 mayoral campaign Climate Safe Streets in #DecisionTime email the candidates to deliver on #ClimateSafeStreets (which includes links to the 2020 Climate Safe Streets report, and the updated 2021 report). To find out which candidates to date have committed to deliver zero carbon roads by 2030, see LCC’s campaign news here.

Graphic from the LCC’s 2021 mayoral election campaign Decision Time
BAILEY, Shaun – Conservative Party Candidate

Getting London Moving (Manifesto pages 23 and 24)

As we emerge from the pandemic, we have a chance to fundamentally rethink what we want our streets, environment, and economy to look like. As a global leader, London should be a model for what a green and efficient transport network can be. My plans will ensure we have world-class transport, clean streets, and clean air.

As Mayor, I will:

  • Suspend LTNs in places where they are opposed by the local community. Since the first lockdown, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have been installed across London. LTNs use planters, bollards or road signs to stop through-traffic on crtain roads. One in 20 Londoners now live in a LTN, but most of these were rapidly implemented without much, if any, public consultation. While LTNs can promote active travel, which I wholeheartedly support, in the wrong places they can increase congestion, disrupt travel for vulnerable residents and impede local businesses. In my first 100 days as Mayor, I will hold public consultations with every community located near a TfL-funded LTN and remove the traffic measures if a majority of residents favour the removal.

Promoting active travel for all Londoners (Manifesto page 25)

The global pandemic has put health front and centre in people’s minds. And there is so much City Hall can do to support health as we emerge from the pandemic. Active travel, like cycling and walking, not only promotes good health – it also cleans up our air and cuts carbon emissions. Sadly, Sadiq Khan hasn’t done enough to encourage it. While cycling should be open to all, people from minority communities account for just 15 per cent of the city’s cycling trips. And less than 14 per cent of London’s cyclists are from low income households. So as Mayor, I will work to create a healthier city – investing in active travel measures, including cycleways, for every resident in every community.

As Mayor, I will:

  • Promote active travel with hire-scheme electric-bikes. The previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, rolled out what is now called the Santander Cycle-Hire Scheme. This widened access to cycling all across London and is now used by 820,000 Londoners every year. But as it stands, many Outer London boroughs do not enjoy the same access to the cycle-hire scheme. Because of the significant distance to the centre of London from many of these locations, it is impractical to simply keep widening the existing scheme. But electric bikes (ebikes) can provide a solution to this. Commuting distance to the centre of London from these boroughs ranges from 9.5km to 11.8km, which is a more practical commute for someone on an electric bike, which travels at a speed of 20mph. In order to widen access to the cycle network, as the current cycle-hire scheme expands I will ensure that all the new bicycles in Outer London will be ebikes.
  • Reduce bicycle thefts across London by funding a wave of new cyclehangers. The number of bikes stolen in London has trebled since the start of the pandemic. A bicycle is stolen every six minutes across the UK, and even more frequently in London. Traditional bicycle racks with a personal lock are highly susceptible to theft and so a more secure alternative is required. Cycle hangers provide a secure form of bicycle storage that is key to increasing bicycle usage in London. I will work with local councils to ensure that there are more cycle hangars in all new developments. I will do this by mandating this requirement in the London Plan. By simply replacing one parking spot with one parking hangar, developments could cater for six times the number of residents per spot.
  • Ensure that all children have access to cycle-safety training across London. Over 60 per cent of adults considered it too dangerous to cycle on London’s roads. In 2019, 125 people were killed and 3,780 people were seriously injured on London’s roads. Cycle training can help improve safety by increasing rider road knowledge and cycling proficiency. As Mayor, I will commit to broadening the patchwork network of cycling centres to ensure that every borough has good access to bicycle training. These training centres will be hosted in public buildings such as schools, youth zones, or sports centres.

Web: Shaun Bailey; Shaun Bailey’s plan to give London a fresh start; Manifesto

BALAYEV, Kam – Renew

No manifesto found.

In a promotional video, Kam states “We are the first generation to feel the pain of climate change, and we are the last generation to do something about it”.

In a section of the website entitled ‘The new economy’, the question ‘What about our local neighbourhoods?’ is posed, to which Kam writes: “At the heart of my strategy for our neighbourhoods is a 15-Minute Plan. This means that we will have easy access to everything we need – public transport, GP services, schools, shops, playgrounds and youth clubs – all within 15 minutes accessible travel from our homes. The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on inequalities in living standards among Londoners. By building vibrant and resilient neighbourhoods, we have a once in a generation chance to reshape where we live”.

Web: Kam4London; Kam4London – about; Kam4London – The new economy

BERRY, Siân – Green Party

A CLEAR PLAN TO KEEP LONDON MOVING (Manifesto pages 2 and 30)

Greens want to make it easier to get around for everyone. We will: Reduce traffic and cancel the Silvertown Road Tunnel, investing instead in healthy streets, walking, cycling, better buses and new public transport links.

Our transport policies mean comprehensive walking, cycling and green public transport projects would get new investment, while the current Mayor’s plans that will make traffic and pollution worse will be cancelled

OUR TRANSPORT AND CLIMATE GOALS (Manifesto page 31)

We will also bring forward the current Mayor’s target for at least 80 per cent of journeys to be made by walking, cycling or public transport by eleven years, from 2041 to 2030.

HOW WE WILL CUT TRAFFIC IN LONDON (Manifesto pages 32 and 33)

Alongside low traffic neighbourhoods, we will invest in measures to make main roads less hostile to people walking, wheeling, cycling and scooting.

We will make it a condition for boroughs to receive funding for walking and cycling measures, that controlled parking schemes, organised to reduce in-borough car trips, are in place across the borough to protect residents from local commuter car journeys, and ensure there is a programme of reducing on-street parking spaces to allow for parklets and space for bike lanes and bus priority schemes.

INVEST IN GREEN TRANSPORT PROJECTS (Manifesto pages 37 and 38)

A Green Mayor will deliver a fully connected London cycle network, using improvements on the new cycleway quality criteria to ensure the speed and volume of traffic is not a deterrent to cycling. We will invest both in new cycle routes and in improving existing cycle routes, ensuring that all signposted Transport for London cycle routes meet the cycleway quality criteria by 2024.

We will set a target to invest £45 per head per year (£400m) in walking and cycling in London. Previous Mayors have repeatedly underspent their budgets, particularly on cycling, and then rushed investment at the end of their term. Instead we will move to regular, high- level investment in our streets, which will enable walking and cycling to be an everyday choice for far more journeys in inner and outer London.

We will focus on addressing danger at major junctions, especially those in outer London, and set targets for Transport for London and every borough to make sure no signalled junctions are without a pedestrian green crossing by 2024. The existing safer junctions programme will be delivered more quickly, designing out all high-risk road danger issues.

We will increase the rate and pace of delivery in the low traffic neighbourhoods and Liveable Neighbourhoods programmes, with a focus on enabling every borough to match the ambition of the successful Waltham Forest mini- Holland scheme. With bidding every quarter and regular development of bids by boroughs, the rate of change throughout London will speed up.

We will increase funding and set new standards for public engagement on local road changes. The requirements for each scheme and circumstance will be set out clearly so that every resident knows what information and consultation to expect, even during emergencies.

To complement the low traffic neighbourhood schemes, we will invest in work on main roads especially where people live, work and shop to make these roads less hostile and traffic dominated. London needs protected accessible space for walking and cycling at real scale on main roads, not just short stretches of disconnected provision.

We will expand current borough programmes for putting in secure bike hangars that can hold six residents’ bikes in the space currently taken up by one car.

We will deliver new river crossings for cycling and walking as soon as possible,… We will bring cycle hire to the whole of London, with safe parking areas for well managed dockless and hub based schemes complementing the existing central London area. We will create a payment system integrated with contactless and Oyster payment to ensure taking a hire bike is as easy as riding a bike.

NEW STANDARDS FOR SAFE, HEALTHY AND ACCESSIBLE STREETS (Manifesto pages 41 and 42)

A Green Mayor will set a 20 mph default speed limit on Transport for London roads everywhere there is a pavement, to protect people where they live, work, shop and walk, requiring a special case to be made for any increase on specific roads. ……. We will work with boroughs to make all similar roads in London 20 mph, and propose even lower limits in busy areas where vehicles mix with large numbers of pedestrians.

…. our investment plans to improve main roads will make sure they include frequent opportunities for pedestrians to safely cross the road, side roads with continuous footways across a junction, protection at junctions for cycling and protected bike lanes with accessibility friendly bus stop bypasses.

A Green Mayor will develop a coherent network of safe cycling routes, using both temporary and permanent measures to roll out protected bike lanes at pace, and tackling difficult hostile junctions that need a full redesign to work safely for people walking and cycling

Web: sianberry.london; Manifesto.

Note: At time of writing (23 April 2021), Siân is one of two candidates to have committed to the London Cycling Campaign’s call for #ZeroCarbonRoads by 2030 (see First candidates commit to deliver zero carbon roads by 2030).

BINFACE, Count – Count Binface for Mayor of London

The 21-Point Plan for ’21, as outlined in Count Binface’s mayoral manifesto, includes ‘Croydon to get a facelift, ironically’, and ‘The hand dryer in the gents’ toilet at the Crown & Treaty, Uxbridge, to be moved to a more sensible position’. Discover more from Count Binface by viewing extracts from the local hustings in Uxbridge & South Ruislip constituency on 5 December 2019.

Web: Count Binface; Manifesto.

BROWN, Valerie – The Burning Pink Party

“One policy: to give the power to the people”.

Web: Valerie for London; Manifesto.

CORBYN, Piers – Let London Live

Essentially a 14 Point Statement – ‘Understanding the Year of Coronavirus Madness’

Web: Corbyn4London

FOSH, Max – Independent

No manifesto found. Twitter profile of this candidate reads ‘YouTuber running for London Mayor’ with this tweet posted on 12 March 2021 “I Am Running To Become The Mayor Of London” (apparently simply in order “to get more votes than Laurence Fox”).

Web: None

FOX, Laurence Paul – The Reclaim Party

I will scrap Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and underused cycle lanes which have divided our communities, blocked our streets, increased pollution, delayed emergency services, destroyed black cabs businesses, and seen millions of new fines imposed on Londoners.

Web: LaurenceForLondonMayor ; Manifesto

GAMMONS, Peter Jones – UKIP

No manifesto found. The page ‘Articles and Answers’ includes a section QUESTIONS FROM ‘LOCKDOWN SCEPTICS’ (March 2021)

What will you do to encourage uptake of public transport and active travel?

The use of public transport is a contentious issue during this Covid crisis.  I love the British underground, but you won’t see me using buses.  I have been the sole voice encouraging the development of the miles of unused underground tunnels (developed by the ministry of defense) to provide safe bicycle lanes, walkways and the world’s first major underground pod system.  This is a way to preserve the limited green space left above ground, especially in central London.

What will your transport priorities be as Mayor?

(1) To re-open the roads closed by Khan and to get London moving.  (2) To review and remove many bicycle lanes which are largely unused and causing the congestion and pollution. (3) To immediately get all of the road works finished, with  penalties for those who do not deliver on time.  Supermarket manager know you should be re-stocking the shelves at night. (4) To stop the expansion of LTNs. (5) To support Licensed Cabs as the central form of transport on London’s roads. Khan’s dad was a bus driver, but as I was growing up on a council estate, buses were for those who could not afford any other option.  I don’t see him using buses. Going out of your way, with numerous stops, sitting next to strangers and freezing in the winter is for those who have no other option.   If I am mayor it will not be London’s future.  My ‘Black Cabs Matter’ campaign is fighting for cabbies, including ‘where buses go cabs go.’  I am a passionate supporter of  cabbies.  I have loved Cabs since I was a child and use them daily.  Instead of a Mayoral Campaign Bus, I chose to buy a black cab to wrap, to show my support for London’s amazing cabbies.  It says on it ‘Black Cabs Matter.’  We are not just using it to campaign, but to feed the homeless as we do. 

Promoting active travel (cycling and walking) and reducing car use are priorities for national and local government to improve air quality and achieve the UK’s net zero target, how would you deliver on this as Mayor of London?

Cycling is not the future for London.  Only a certain type of person wants to arrive at work soggy and worn out.  We don’t have the weather for it!  My green policies are outlined on my website, which includes a million new trees – nature’s vacuum cleaners.  I have already stated that I oppose efforts to take poorer families cars away.  It annoys me that it was Labour who told people to go out and buy diesel, because it was better for the environment.  Now they are punishing them for having done that.  While I believe electric vehicles are the way forward I think forcing cabbies to buy so-called ‘electrical vehicles’ that only do 30-50 miles before needing to be recharged was wrong.  As mayor I will fight for 15 years for taxi drivers.  So, basically that sums up why I’m running.

Web: Gammons; Questions and Answers.

HEWISON, Richard John Howard

Web: Rejoin EU in London; Pamphlet.

HUDSON, Vanessa Helen – Animal Welfare Party – People, Animals, Environment

Vanessa’s ‘7 Point Plan for a London that Leads’, includes: Incentivise public transport use, demand increased funding from Government to ensure affordability, reliability & safety – improving air quality.

Further policy detail includes: Reopening Hammersmith Bridge as a pedestrian, cycle and public transport only bridge.

Web: Animal Welfare Party

KELLER, Steve – Social Democratic Party

No manifesto found. Twitter profile ‘SDP candidate for Mayor of London. Free Speech, open debate, new ideas!. (Honeybee emoji) Get London Buzzing (Honeybee emoji) Retweets are NOT an endorsement’, with this tweet posted on 7 April 2021.

Web: None found

KHAN, Sadiq Aman – Labour Party

Top Commitments – Transport (Manifesto page 5)

Continuing to invest in public transport to ensure it is safe, affordable and reliable, keeping fares as low as possible, working to put TfL on a sound, sustainable financial footing after the pandemic, and supporting a revolution in walking and cycling.

London as a global city – Central London (Manifesto page 27)

I will also seek to partner with local authorities, landowners, businesses and residents to develop better public spaces, safer streets and more walking and cycling-friendly schemes.

London as a global city – 24-hour London (Manifesto page 28)

I will also do what I can to support safe active travel at night, including walking and cycling, and collaborate with local authorities on plans for lighting to ensure Londoners can get around the city safely and securely at night.

A NEW GREEN DEAL FOR LONDON (Manifesto page 54)

Record investment in greener travel, including my recent Streetspace plan, has led to the biggest increase in cycling on record.

LONDON’S LOCAL COMMUNITIES – GETTING AROUND YOUR LOCAL AREA (pages 98, 99 and 100)

Last year, TfL and the London boroughs rapidly rolled out measures to make our streets safer for walking, cycling, and social distancing, such as low-traffic neighbourhoods. Most of these schemes are temporary and implemented under emergency Government guidance. I will work with London boroughs to ensure communities and stakeholder groups are properly consulted on these schemes, refining them where necessary, and making them permanent where they are successful.

I recognise that outer London has unique challenges when it comes to transport, so I will work with TfL on a strategy for the suburbs, designed to increase connectivity in outer London through improved bus networks but also considering the role of rapid bus transit and trams. I will also ask TfL to consider an Outer London Town Centres Fund to improve public transport and walking and cycling options in boroughs on London’s outskirts.

My Walking and Cycling Commissioner has led a step change in making our roads cleaner, greener, and healthier by pushing forward with my Healthy Streets agenda. I have gone far beyond my promise of tripling the amount of segregated cycle lanes in the last five years, which has contributed to the highest growth in cycling in London on record.

I will continue the rapid expansion of London’s cycle network — connecting communities and town centres with protected cycleways on main roads and low-traffic routes on local streets — so it reaches a third of Londoners by 2025. I will improve on-street signage and digital mapping and wayfinding to make it easy for people to choose this greener transport option.

London’s Santander Cycle Hire Scheme has had its most successful year ever. I will invest to modernise and expand the scheme so it can be accessed by more Londoners, as well as introducing e-bikes. I will also ask TfL to look at ways in which the scheme can support frontline workers on an ongoing basis beyond the pandemic, in recognition of their heroic efforts over the last year.

My successful walking and cycling community grants will continue, and bike training for adults and children will be increased to keep up with demand — including the popular online cycle skills training.

With the record growth in cycling, London also needs more cycle parking. I will continue to deliver my cycle parking plan, providing 5,000 new residential cycle hangars, parking hubs at stations, including in partnership with Network Rail, and more parking on our high streets.

Sadly, too many people are killed and seriously injured on London’s roads. My bold Vision Zero Plan aims to end this tragic loss of life. I will accelerate the roll out of 20mph speed limits on the TfL road network and improve the safety of the most dangerous junctions, including a programme of new pedestrian crossings at those junctions currently lacking them.

Web: sadiq.london; Manifesto.

KURTEN, David – Heritage Party

Get London Moving

Remove pop-up cycle lanes and road blockages; No more LTNs; Stop ULEZ and Congestion Charge expansion.

Web: heritageparty.org; David Kurten

LONDON, Farah – Independent

The Farah London COVID Recovery Plan: 1. Prioritise public health and well-being.

Cyclist / Electric scooters

  • Introduce grants to assist with the purchase of bicycles.
  • Introduce highway code handbook and theory test for cyclists to improve safety. Under 16s will be taught the code and tested at school
  • Introduce a QR code plate on all bicycles, to identify riders and cycle owner for control of traffic offences
  • Mandatory helmets with QR code

On 22 April 2021, Farah posted this tweet: Great to be back in #tooting lovely to see high street shops open, but that’s not enough, they are losing up to 50% of daily trade from cycle lanes not being used, I will have them removed and bring back free 30min parking, let’s bring life back to the high street @OWandsworth.

Web: votefarah.london; Manifesto

OBUNGE, Nims – Independent

Nothing about cycling. Policies include prioritising mental and physical wellbeing at home, schools and work

Web: NimsForLondon; Policies

OMILANA, Niko – Independent

Manifesto not found.

Web: not found. Twitter profile ‘Founding father of the NDL Movement #TakeBackOwerStreats’, with a link to Niko’s YouTube channel.

PORRITT, Luisa Manon – Liberal Democrats

Free bikes on Sundays (Manifesto pages 20 and 21)

The Liberal Democrats will make the Santander cycle hire scheme free to use every Sunday for a year. It will encourage Londoners to take up cycling and attract more visitors into central London at a time when international visitors are down.

We will also commit to the biggest extension of the cycle hire scheme since it began, working with all neighbouring boroughs to expand the network and reach more potential commuters.

Support more cycling and walking (Manifesto page 21)

We will double expenditure on cycle infrastructure by 2024 and support people to take up the habit through encouraging take-up of the Cycle to Work scheme and more safe cycle parking.

Acknowledgements (Manifesto page 35)

The London Liberal Democrats are proud to have signed up to support the manifestos of Age UK, Choked Up UK, Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses, Friends of the Earth, London Chamber of Commerce, London Cycling Campaign, Living Streets, Mums for Lungs, and many other excellent London organisations.

Web: luisa4london; Manifesto: Take London Forward

Note: At time of writing (23 April 2021), Luisa is one of two candidates to have committed to the London Cycling Campaign’s call for #ZeroCarbonRoads by 2030 (see First candidates commit to deliver zero carbon roads by 2030).

REID, Mandu Kate – Vote Women’s Equality on orange

Build greener, safer, cleaner neighbourhoods (Manifesto page 12)

Work with London’s councils to:

  • co-design Low Traffic Neighbourhoods with local communities and Disabled People’s Organisations
  • increase parking spaces reserved for disabled people and parents, including electric vehicle parking
  • increasingly replace non-reserved parking spaces with bicycle parking and offer free and accessible cycling lessons for adults

Web: Women’s Equality Party; Women’s Equality Party 2021 GLA Elections; Manifesto

ROSE, Brian Benedict – London Real Party

Solving the housing crisis (Manifesto page 26)

Plots [for modular family homes] will be located within half-a-mile of London’s transport hubs, making commuting convenient, minimising environmental impact and helping drive footfall to existing transport networks, be they Tube stations, bus routes or cycle lanes.

Fixing our transport system (Manifesto pages 30, 33 and 34)

I plan to rejuvenate public transport, make it easier to walk and cycle around this beautiful city, and blend demanding environmental targets with transport policies that are fit for purpose.

London’s divisive Low Traffic Neighbourhoods strategy must be reviewed as an immediate priority. Introduced without adequate consultation by the present Mayor, LTNs cause traffic problems rather than solving them. This lack of consultation has rankled Londoners, and is now the most divisive issue in parts of the city. There is simply no need for this to have happened. Had the Mayor had the common sense to have consulted with residents and stakeholders over his plans, he could have avoided both uproar and unnecessary expense.

LTNs are purely a revenue-generating tool. Our plans to generate revenue elsewhere mean these unpopular schemes will not be part of London’s future. As Mayor, I will end them.

As electric cars become increasingly popular, it is vital that cities have the infrastructure to charge them.

Web: brianformayor.london; Manifesto

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