Mayor of London’s Cycling Questions (and answers): June 2010

With thanks as ever to the office of Jenny Jones AM here is this month’s batch of cycling questions and answers to the Mayor of London. Ian in Jenny’s office writes, “Lots of interesting answers from the Mayor. Real progress made on cycle parking at East london Line stations, as a result of questioning. Going backwards this year on greenways. Lots of good detail on the big schemes which are being launched this summer: cycle hire and superhighways. Delays in docking stations and it doesn’t look as if Barclays sponsorship funding is additional money.”

As always, reactions, analysis in the comments please.

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Cycle Superhighways – Waste of Paint or Copenhagenization?


A long, hard look at the Mayor of London’s plans for 12 cycle superhighways – bike routes from the outer boroughs along London’s main arterial roads. With Kulveer Ranger, Boris Johnson’s top transport adviser, Rob Ainsley of the Real Cycling blog, and Charlie Lloyd of the London Cycling Campaign.

Lorries/HGVs/LGVs killing cyclists: an appeal to London listeners

Last Thursday, on what felt like a warm, sunny first day of Spring, I was witness to the immediate aftermath of a collision involving a cyclist and a 32 tonne articulated lorry. It was a truly horrible, chilling sight. The lorry was stopped in the middle of the road and the crushed remains of a bicycle were clearly visible under its wheels. The cyclist, a woman in her twenties, was on a stretcher, receiving treatment from the fantastic and heroic paramedics of the London Ambulance Service. I gather than woman was was taken to the Royal London Hospital with serious leg injuries. I don’t know the extent of her injuries and whether she’ll be able to make a full recovery, but while she was desperately unlucky to be hit, she was probably very lucky to have survived.

Too many cyclists are being killed each year by lorries on the streets of London. Something has got to be done.

The Bike Show has been campaigning on this issue for years and this year I’m planning to crank up the volume. As a first step I’m encouraging everyone who can make it to come along to Critical Mass this Friday to join a mass ride that is going to show London’s cyclists making a united stand on the issue. I’m not the greatest fan of Critical Mass, but this month, with spate of deaths caused by lorries, I’m making an exception. This is a call not just from me but from a united platform of London bike campaigners and bike bloggers (including the London Cycling Campaign, Southwark Cyclists, ibikelondon, Bike Tart, Moving Target, Cycle Chic, Cyclodelic, VeLo City and Real Cycling).

If you come along on Friday, you’ll be among friends, you’ll be able to put a few faces to familiar Bike Show voices. Meet from 6.30pm on Friday 26th March on the South Bank, right under Waterloo Bridge.

To hear the appeal in full, click on the links below.

We’re all Aristoteleans now

Nigel Warburton, whose Philosophy Bites is among the brightest stars in the podcasting firmament, appeared on The Bike Show late last year, with materials scientist Mark Miodownik in a discussion about the talking about the physics and ethics of running red lights.

In the current issue of Prospect Magazine, he takes a deeper look at whether breaking the law can ever be morally justified. In a passage on ‘the red light question’ Nigel writes:

Jack Thurston, of Resonance FM’s Bike Show, argues that cyclists are different from other road users: “I see a bicyclist as a kind of hybrid pedestrian that should be granted the freedom to keep rolling as long as it’s safe to do so. Those who say cyclists should follow precisely the same laws as drivers of motor vehicles are making a basic category mistake.” This is more promising ground, suggesting an Aristotelean approach in which we clear up what the “essence” of a cyclist is understood to be, and also what the telos—or goal—of traffic signalling really is. If the aim is to create a safe flow of traffic without unduly hindering progress of the various users (including pedestrians) then perhaps cyclists should be deemed a special class of road user, and given their own appropriate laws. People like Thurston think that cyclists are not quasi-car drivers, but a species of quasi-pedestrians. Running a red light, on this logic, should be treated more like jay-walking.

You can read the article in full over here.