Is London Next in Line to Embrace the Bike?

Kaya Burgess and Rhoda Buchanan report on a ride for cyclists' rights in the English capital, where political support for more inclusive streets is gaining momentum.
May 2, 2012, 1pm PDT | Ryan Lue
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Hordes of Londoners took to the streets on Saturday in response to growing concerns over cyclist safety in the UK, urging candidates in next week's local elections to take note. "Despite the steady rain, cyclists of all shapes and sizes - old and young, male and female, lycra-clad and fancy-dressed - took over Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and Victoria Embankment, chanting for safer streets," Burgess and Buchanan write.

The 10,000-odd riders were joined by mayoral candidates Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones, both of whom stressed their commitment to safer roads for cyclists.

Another protest ride, dubbed Pedal on Parliament, took place in Edinburgh the same day. That event drew roughly 3,000 participants – three times the number organizers anticipated. "We didn't expect these sorts of numbers. We didn't know how strong the feeling was, obviously we've struck a chord. People are coming form all over Scotland," said organizer Dave Brennan.

Two cyclists have been killed in the Scottish capital since the beginning of the year, stoking public sentiment over cyclist awareness. Said Gareth Dennis, a student at Edinburgh University, "I feel pretty angry about the state of cycling. The attitudes of the British are all wrong."

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Published on Saturday, April 28, 2012 in The Times
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