London Looks to Get Its Cycling Revolution Back Into Gear
"The mayor of London's 'cycling Revolution', launched in 2010, was revolutionary in name only,” writes Chris Peck, policy coordinator of the UK's national cyclists' organization, the Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC). A bit of a mixed bag, London's citywide cycling campaign has seen its share of successes and failures. Accomplishments include the implementation of a bicycle borrowing system, the creation of cycling superhighways, and ushering in a 10-15% increase in cycling levels. But, all this development has been costly for London at about £10 per head, and several high-profile deaths and what many feel is poorly design cycling infrastructure and regulation have been accompanied by a recent decline in cycling levels.
Since 2007, “both nationally and in London, cycle casualties have been increasing faster than the rate of cycling, undermining the idea that if you get more people cycling, it will inevitably become safer,” writes Peck. In fact, he asserts that in London, unlike in cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam, the “safety in numbers” idea has failed to materialize. This is due to a variety of factors related to both infrastructure and policing, as well as road user behavior. "The problem with so much existing cycle infrastructure is that it does little to improve safety, but also undermines the status of cycling, relegating them to a narrow, unhelpful cycle lane the users of which must give way to all other road users," writes Peck.