Vote with your bike on May 3 (Londonersonbikes.org)
The London Cycling Campaign and newly formed pressure
group Londoners on Bikes are urgently appealing to all cyclists to sign their
petitions, with the aim of making mayoral candidates pledge as much support for
cycling as possible.
LCC’s campaign, Love
London, Go Dutch, is calling on the 2012 mayoral election candidates (election date 3 May) to commit to
continental standard (i.e. Dutch style) cycling infrastructure in the capital.
Bikes (LoB) describe themselves as a
‘grassroots, non-profit, 100% volunteer-run group’ and have been set up
specifically for the election and are due to be wound up shortly afterwards.
Their stated aim is “ensuring that the next Mayor of London – whoever that
turns out to be – has courted the cycling vote and enters office already
committed to measures to make the streets safe.”
Both campaigns stress the overriding need to make London more bike-friendly
and safer for cyclists. Go Dutch is calling for 20mph maximum speeds in
residential and shopping streets, removal of rat-runs and introduction of
effective traffic calming, wide and separated bike tracks alongside main roads with
bike-friendly solutions at major junctions including cycle-specific traffic
LCC has produced a series of plans to make major public
spaces in London
more bike and pedestrian friendly, with detailed suggestions for Parliament Square, the Olympic Park and Blackfriars.
They are also planning what is billed as ‘London’s biggest-ever bike ride calling for
safer streets for cycling’ on Saturday 28 April.
LoB say they are “campaigning not just for the rights of
cyclists, but for more liveable urban spaces that everyone can enjoy safely. In
a city of 8 million people it is absurd that the motorcar should be the guiding
principle of planning. Car ownership in London
is 33% and falling, efficient urban design should reflect this downwards
trend.” Their website also endorses
LCC’s Go Dutch campaign.
Their programme of grassroots activity includes Monday
evening open meetings at the Royal Festival Hall and Tuesday flyering sessions at
main junctions across London
aimed at popularising their campaign. They are calling for volunteers
to help spread the word.
LoB have also promised to keep
analysing the cycling proposals from all the Mayoral candidates and to make
voting recommendations shortly before the election.
Both LCC and LoB have highlighted the death of eight-year old
Ali Nasralla as he cycled home from
school in southwest London
on Monday as adding further urgency to their campaign.
Just to remind you, cyclists are being asked to sign the
campaigns here and here. At the time of
writing well over 16,000 people had signed the LCC and LoB petitions – approaching
roughly 0.5% of the critical first and second preference votes likely to be
cast (based on the 2008 turnout in the last elections), with final petition
totals likely to far exceed this.
With Boris Johnston and Ken Livingstone
currently within a couple of percent of each other, could courting
the cycling vote be the key to a successful election campaign?