Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Plan

Dear all,

We just got a response to our petition that asks the Cycling Tzar Andrew Gilligan for both increased expenditure of the cycling fund, and a plan of the changes that London cyclists can expect to see in 2014. The response came from Gilligan himself. I wanted to let you know, and to share it with you in full.

Firstly, this is exciting news. Getting a response out of Gilligan is a result. He could have brushed it off, ignored us, hoping that we'd forget and go away. The fact that he responded shows that we're a force to be reckoned with. Our efforts here, and our collective voices are making a difference. We're making progress.

Better still, Gilligan has agreed to our demands. This is a really positive step on the way to realising the changes that we want to see for cyclists in London. 


Among his comments, Gilligan agrees to our demand to vastly increase expenditure of the cycling fund, and he has outlined his plan for 2014. Let's just pause on that for a second. We just scored a win. Of the five key issues we wanted the plan to cover, Gilligan gave the following response:
  • Cycle Superhighway 2
    Work will begin in the second half of this year

  • HGVs
    Proposal to ban lorries without safety equipment to protect cyclists. Looking into banning HGVs during peak times

  • Training for motorists, including TFL staff
    Lobbying Government for changes to DVLA driving tests

  • Training for cyclists
    Plan to spend £60 million on cycle training, being able to offer cycle training to every London child and every adult in London who wants it

  • Further investment in the cycling fund
    No comment

That's 4 out of 5. It's a brilliant victory. Of course, this is not quite the costed, accurate and time-bound plan that we asked for. This plan is lacking in detail and specific time structures, but it is a start, and it is a commitment. We are starting to get some clarity on the changes cyclists can expect to see this year.

We are now over 37,000 people. That's 37,000 bicycles that can hold the Cycling Commissioner to account. From a crisis moment at the end of 2013 that tipped the everyday experiences of cyclists in to mass mobilisation, we have come a long way. With the Mayoral elections coming up next year, major initiatives launching with the London Cycling Campaign and persistent direct action by Stop Killing Cyclists, we still have everything to play for. 

For now, we've scored a win. But our work is far from over. Already this year, one cyclist in London has tragically died [1], and another London cyclist is struggling with severe head injuries after a collision with a car [2]. We'll need to think about what to do next, where we want to go with this campaign. We'll also need to recruit some more volunteers. I'll be in touch later this week to ask you more specific questions on where we go next, but for now, you can write your immediate thoughts and ideas in the comments box of our blog and join in the discussion.

Before we begin round two, let's enjoy this victory for a little while. Congratulations!

Cycle safe,

Rhiannon


Notes:
[1] Guardian Series, Vigil protest as first cyclist in London dies this year, http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/11001911.Vigil_after_death_of_cyclist/ 
[2] Guardian Series, Cyclist has 'life threatening' injuries after accident, http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/11001584.Cyclist_has__life_threatening__head_injuries_after_crash/