Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today joined London’s cycling and walking commissioner Will Norman at a new-build protected cycleway in the Outer London borough of Enfield for the launch of the capital’s Cycling Action Plan. This five-year plan sets out the timescale for tripling the number of protected cycleways since Khan came to office and also reveals new quality standards for cycling infrastructure.
Norman told Forbes: “We have a climate-change emergency, a toxic air crisis, an inactivity crisis in London, and with a significant growth [in population] that’s coming it is only going to exacerbate these challenges – so, the Mayor’s [earlier] transport strategy set out the way we need to make changes to the way we move around our city to cleaner, greener, more efficient modes of transport. And cycling is a critical part of it.”
The Mayor wants to increase the proportion of people walking, cycling and taking public transport to 80% of journeys by 2041, from 63% now. The plan includes details of what TfL is describing as the world’s first Cycling Infrastructure Database. This is an open-data digital record of all cycling facilities on the streets of the capital, which TfL hopes will be used to lead to a step-change in the accuracy and quality of cycling data in London. The data could be used by third parties to create personalized journey planning and information about on-street cycle parking.
TfL has amassed data on every street in London, cataloguing almost 146,000 cycle parking spaces, 2,000 km of cycle routes and more than 58,000 cycle signs and street markings.
The five-year plan also promises to increase the number of schools engaged with TfL’s free cycle training and active travel programme, as well as doubling the number of adults who receive free cycle training each year
More Londoners cycling
In a statement, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Getting more Londoners cycling is essential for our city’s future health and prosperity, and our new Action Plan shows how we’re going to go further than ever before to make this a reality.
“The evidence is clear – where we’ve built new high-quality cycling infrastructure, the routes have been hugely successful in getting more people on their bikes. Despite this, too many Londoners still don’t have the high-quality cycle routes they need in their local neighbourhood.
“I’m determined to ensure every Londoner feels comfortable and safe getting on a bike, whatever their age, experience or background.”
Cycling and walking commissioner
Norman told Forbes: “We need to make our routes safer for people already cycling, and making London’s streets better for cyclists but we also need to attract new cyclists, people who are thinking about it. Maybe those people have a bike in the shed that doesn’t get out very often, or a bike on a balcony – how do we get them off the balcony on to the street?
“What scares me the most is the amount of inactive kids. About 80% of London’s kids – like most cities around the world – are inactive. We have designed activity out of everyday life. So we have got a particular focus on more engagement with schools, increasing the amount of cycle training. I want that to be aligned with the infrastructure – we can built it and they will come. All our evidence shows that – where we invest, people come and cycle. Numbers increase where the investment goes in.
“But not everybody comes so we need to do more proactive stuff in terms of engaging communities, making sure that the cycling on our streets reflects the diversity of London’s population. Getting the next generation to fall in love with cycling is essential.